Hessell-Tiltman Prize

David Reynolds wins the PEN Hessell-Tiltman 2014 Prize for History


With his magisterial book, The Long Shadow: the Great War and the Twentieth Century (Simon & Schuster), David Reynolds wins the 2014 PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize.

This anniversary year brought strong competition for WWI books, from straight forward histories to fascinating insights on little known aspects of the Great War and its aftermath.

Chair Anne Chisholm, also the Chair of the Royal Society of Literature, said: “If you only read one book about the First World War in this anniversary year, read The Long Shadow. David Reynolds writes superbly and his analysis is compelling and original.”

In The Long Shadow: The Great War and the Twentieth Century David Reynolds seeks to re-address our overriding sense of the First World War as a futile bloodbath. Exploring major themes such as democracy and empire, nationalism and capitalism and re-examining the differing impacts of the War on Britain, Ireland and the United States, The Long Shadow throws light on the whole of the last century and demonstrates that 1914-18 is a conflict that Britain, more than any other nation, is still struggling to comprehend. Stunningly broad in its historical perspective, The Long Shadow is a scholarly, thoughtful and seismic re-presentation of the Great War.

David Reynolds is Professor of International History and a Fellow of Christ’s College. His visiting positions include posts at Harvard, Nihon University in Tokyo and Sciences Po in Paris. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2005 and a member of the Society of American Historians in 2011. The Long Shadow will be a major 4-part BBC series in 2014.

The highly commended 2014 shortlist was:

  • Empires of the Dead: How One Man’s Vision led to the Creation of WWI’s World Graves by David Crane (William Collins)
  • Return of a King: the Battle for Afghanistan by William Dalrymple (Bloomsbury)
  • The First Bohemians: Life and Art in London’s Golden Age by Vic Gatrell  (Allen Lane)
  • Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain by Charlotte Higgins (Jonathan Cape)
  • The Undiscovered Country: Journeys Among the Dead by Carl Watkins (Bodley Head)

This year’s Hessell-Tiltman judges were Anne Chisholm (Chair), Michael Prodger and Anna Whitelock.

The PEN Hessell-Tiltman 2013-14 Prize for History will be presented on Thursday 10 April, 4pm on the PEN Literary Salon at London Book Fair, Earls Court.

The Hessell-Tiltman prize of £2,000 is awarded annually for a non-fiction book of specifically historical content. Entrants, which may include first British translations, are to be books of high literary merit – that is, not primarily written for the academic market – and can cover all historical periods up to and including the end of the 1960s.

Marjorie Hessell-Tiltman was a member of PEN during the 1960s and 1970s. On her death in 1999 she bequeathed £100,000 to the PEN Literary Foundation to found a prize in her name.

The judges for the 2014 Prize were Anne Chisholm (chair), Michael Prodger and Anna Whitelock.

Hessell-Tiltman Prize 2015: Rules 

1. The Prize of £2,000 is awarded annually.

2. The Prize is for history only; historical biography is not included.

3. Historical periods covered are allowed until the end of the 1960s.

4. The book must be a first British publication in the English language.  Translations can be considered, but the prize will be awarded to the author only.

5. The book must be of high literary merit i.e. not written mainly for the academic market nor of heavily military content.

6. Books are called in by the judges, the Vice-Presidents and Trustees of English PEN.

7. There are three judges including a chair.

8. The judges have discretion how they individually and jointly assess the submitted books and their decision is final.

9. English PEN has complete discretion in respect of any change it may wish to make from time to time.

Notes to Publishers:

Books should be published between 1 January and 31 December 2014.

Publishers may draw attention to no more than two relevant books on their lists. They should be notified to the administrator at hesselltiltman@hotmail.co.uk from 1 September 2014 and finished or proof copies must be available by 15 November 2014, the closing date of the competition. Publishers should not send books to judges directly but always send their suggestions via the Administrator.

 Notes to authors: All books must be submitted through publishers; it is regretted that direct submissions from authors cannot be accepted. Nor, at present, can self-published books.

Previous Winners

2013- Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II by Keith Lowe, published by Viking/Penguin

2012 – The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick, published by Fourth Estate

2011 – The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt: the History of a Civilisation from 3000 BC to Cleopatra by Toby Wilkinson

2010 – A History of Christianity by Diarmaid MacCulloch, published by Penguin.

2009 – The White War: Life & Death on the Italian Front 1915-1919 by Mark Thompson, published by Faber & Faber.

2008 – Clair Wills was awarded the 2007/8 Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History for That Neutral Island published by Faber.

2007 – Vic Gatrell was awarded the 2006/7 Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History for City of Laughter:  Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-Century London, published by Atlantic Books.

2006 – Bryan Ward Perkins was awarded the 2006 Hesell-Tiltman Prize for History for The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization (Oxford University Press).

2005 – Paul Fussell and Richard Overy were jointly awarded the 2005 Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History. The award went to Paul Fussell for The Boys’ Crusade (Weidenfeld and Nicholdon) and to Richard Overy for The Dictators: Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia (Allen Lane/Penguin).

2004 – Tom Holland won the 2004 Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History for Rubicon.

2003 – Jenny Uglow won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History 2003 for The Lunar Men (Faber).

2002 – Margaret Macmillan won the inaugural Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History for Peacemakers (John Murray).



Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/prizes/hesselltiltmanarchiveandhist/