I've never heard of this one! The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is a fairly new award, a mere five years old, has some pretty amazing books on its shortlist reflecting how popular historical fiction has become in recent years.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
"During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale. What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life?" publisher.
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
"In 1866, a weary Englishman lands in a gold-mining frontier town on the coast of New Zealand to make his fortune and forever leave behind his family's shame. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to investigate what links three crimes that occurred on a single day." publisher
Harvest by Jim Crace
"The first column of smoke comes from the edge of the village land, sent as a signal by newcomers to announce their presence as per regional custom. The second smoke column is even more troubling: it comes from a blaze set in Master Kent's stables. Walter Thirsk, a relative outsider in the village, casts his eye on three local boys and blames their careless tomfoolery. The rest of the villagers, though, close ranks against the strangers rather than accuse one of their own." publisher
Fair Helen by Andrew Greig
"The Scottish Borderlands, 1590s. Harry Langton is called back to the country of his childhood to aide an old friend, Adam Fleming, who believes his life is in danger. He's fallen for Helen of Annandale and, in turn, fallen foul of her rival: a man as violent as he is influential. In a land where minor lairds vie for power and blood feuds are settled by the sword, Fleming faces a battle to win Helen's hand." publisher
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
"Paris. 1895. On a freezing January morning, the Jewish army officer, Alfred Dreyfus, is stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of 20,000, and deported for life to Devil’s Island. Among those watching his humiliation is a high-flying intelligence officer, the clever and resourceful Georges Picquart, whose dangerous love affairs leave him wide open to blackmail. A few months later, Picquart discovers the Germans still have a spy operating in France. He mounts a sophisticated surveillance operation to trap the traitor." publisher
The Promise by Ann Weisgarber
"1900. Young pianist Catherine Wainwright flees the fashionable town of Dayton, Ohio in the wake of a terrible scandal. Heartbroken and facing destitution, she finds herself striking up correspondence with a childhood admirer, the recently widowed Oscar Williams. In desperation she agrees to marry him. But when Catherine travels to Oscar's farm on Galveston island, Texas - a thousand miles from home - she finds she is little prepared for the life that awaits her." publisher