The Cundill Prize Is Announced

December 9, 2009

The Cundill Prize is awarded to an individual whose book has had, or is likely to have, a profound literary, social and academic impact in the area of history. This is the second year for the prize which is sponsored by the Cundill Foundation and McGill University in Montreal. The Cundill Prize is the largest nonfiction historical literature award in the world and carries a prize of US$75,000.

Author Lisa Jardine, photo by Owen Egan

This year’s winner is Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland’s Glory by Lisa Jardine , “the remarkable story of the relationship between the Dutch Republic and Britain, two of 17th Century Europe’s most important colonial powers. In this wide-ranging book, Jardine masterfully assembles new research in political and social history, together with the histories of art, music, gardening and science, to show how Dutch tolerance, resourcefulness and commercial acumen had effectively conquered Britain long before the Glorious Revolution of 1688 that overthrew King James II of England.”

Jardine, a CBE, (Commander of the British Empire) is the Centenary Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an Honorary Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge and Jesus College, Cambridge. Jardine writes and reviews for the UK’s national newspapers and magazines and for the Washington Post. She is a regular writer and presenter of “A point of view,” on BBC Radio 4.  Jardine has published more than 50 scholarly articles and 17 full-length books, a number of them in co-authorship with others. She is the author of a number of best-selling general books, including Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance, Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution, and biographies of Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke.