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Professor Holmes (undergraduate 1964/67) is Professor of Biographical Studies at the University of East Anglia (2001/7), holder of honorary degrees from the universities of East Anglia, East London, and Kingston, and the recipient of several literary prizes: the Whitbread Book of the Year, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He has been described as the greatest living British biographer. Professor Holmes is one of four alumni who have been elected Fellows of the British Academy: he is now the first alumnus FBA to be elected to an Honorary Fellowship.