The reading public is invited to vote on which writer should have won the 1970 Booker Prize. This was the year in which the system was changed to award the prize to a book from the current year, rather than the previous one, and authors such as Nobel prize-winner Patrick White missed out.

However, his acclaimed The Vivisector now has a second chance, as it is one of the six shortlisted novels published in 1970 taken from a field of 21 drawn up by Booker archivist Peter Straus.

* For more stories like this every week subscribe and save

Only two of the six authors are still alive: Nina Bawden, who wrote The Birds on the Trees, and Shirley Hazzard, for The Bay of Noon. The others are J.G. Farrell for Troubles, Muriel Spark for The Driver’s Seat, and Mary Renault for Fire From Heaven.

Voting is open until April 23 on www.themanbookerprize.com and the winner will be announced on May 19.