The 2010 Duff Cooper Prize for non-fiction writing has been won by Sarah Bakewell for her biography of Renaissance nobleman Michel Eyquem de Montaigne.
How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer was named the winner of the GBP 5,000 prize in a ceremony at the residence of French ambassador Maurice Gourdault-Montagne.
Bakewell's biography was up against Romantic Moderns by Alexandra Harris, Candia McWilliam's What to Look for in Winter and The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal.
Life by Keith Richards and James Fox, Timothy Snyder's Bloodlands and the Lyndall Gordon biography Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds completed the shortlist.
Presenting the award to Bakewell, Andrew Marr said her book 'took biography in a new direction' and also praised the quality of the other shortlisted works.
Last year's Duff Cooper Prize was won by Robert Service for Trotsky: A Biography, which explored the Russian revolutionary's life and legacy.