PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize

Awarded annually for a non-fiction book of specifically historical content

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The Hessell-Tiltman prize of £2,000 is awarded annually for a non-fiction book of specifically historical content.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.

Hessell-Tiltman Prize: 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. There are three judges including a chair, appointed each year.
  7. The judges have discretion how they individually and jointly assess the submitted books and their decision is final.
  8. English PEN has complete discretion in respect of any change it may wish to make from time to time.
  9. For more information please contact the prize administrator using the form below.

Previous Winners

Year Author Title Publisher
2014 Jesse Childs God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England The Bodley Head
2014 David Reynolds The Long Shadow: The Great War and the Twentieth Century Simon & Schuster
2013 Keith Lowe Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II Viking/Penguin
2012 James Gleick The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood Fourth Estate
2011 Toby Wilkinson The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt: the History of a Civilisation from 3000 BC to Cleopatra Bloomsbury
2010 Diarmaid MacCulloch A History of Christianity Penguin
2009 Mark Thompson The White War: Life & Death on the Italian Front 1915-1919 Faber & Faber
2008 Clair Wills That Neutral Island Faber & Faber
2007 Vic Gatrell City of Laughter: Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-Century London Atlantic Books
2006 Bryan Ward Perkins The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization Oxford University Press
2005 Paul FussellRichard Overy The Boys’ CrusadeThe Dictators: Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia Weidenfeld and NicholdonAllen Lane/Penguin
2004 Tom Holland Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic Abacus
2003 Jenny Uglow The Lunar Men Faber
2002 Margaret Macmillan Peacemakers John Murray

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