PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize

Hessell-Tiltman Prize 2017 shortlisted titles

The Hessell-Tiltman prize of £2,000 is awarded annually for a non-fiction book of specifically historical content. Entrants are to be books of high literary merit – that is, not primarily written for the academic market – and can cover all historical periods.

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.

Submissions will open for the 2020 PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize will open in December 2019. Please use the contact form below if you would like to be informed when submissions open.

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. All historical periods covered are allowed.
  4. The book must be a first British publication in the English language. Translations will not be considered.
  5. Publishers may draw attention to no more than two relevant books on their lists or imprints.
  6. The book must be of high literary merit i.e. not written mainly for the academic market nor of heavily military content.
  7. There are three judges including a chair, appointed each year.
  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.
  10. For more information please contact the prize administrator using the form below.

Previous Winners

Year Author Title Publisher
2018 S.A. Smith Russia in Revolution: An Empire in Crisis, 1890 – 1928 Oxford University Press
2017 David Olusoga Black and British: a Forgotten History Pan Macmillan
2016 Nicholas Stargardt The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-45 The Bodley Head
2015 Jessie 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 This 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 Fussell

Richard Overy

The Boys’ Crusade

The Dictators: Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia

Weidenfeld and Nicholson Allen 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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