J.W. Lambert, who died a year after judging the prize, was a former literary editor of the Sunday Times, a broadcaster and editor of books with a particular interest in contemporary drama.

As well as editing several volumes of Penguin’s New English Dramatists and writing a centenary history of the venerable publishing house The Bodley Head (completed by Michael Ratcliffe after Lambert’s death), Lambert was also a Saki aficionado and edited selections of his short stories.

He was also a proud son of Cornwall and in 1939 wrote one of the inaugural county guides for Penguin in which he adopted an occasionally dyspeptic tone not adapted to entice would-be tourists: sample, ‘Cornish cream, like Punch, is not as good as it was…’