Hessell-Tiltman Prize

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The Hessell-Tiltman History Prize is awarded to the best work of non-fiction of historical content covering a period up to and including World War II, and published in the year of the award. The books are to be of high literary merit but not primarily academic. The prize is organized by the English PEN. 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.[1] Each year's winner receives £2,000[1].

The award is one of many PEN awards sponsored by PEN International affiliates in over 145 PEN centres around the world.

Winners and shortlist[edit]

A blue ribbon (Blue ribbon) denotes the winner.









  • Blue ribbon Clair Wills, That Neutral Island
  • Mark Mazower, Hitler's Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe
  • Philipp Blom, The Vertigo Years: Change and Culture in the West 1900–1914
  • Leo Hollis, The Phoenix: St Paul's Cathedral and the Men Who Made Modern London
  • Frederick Spotts, The Shameful Peace: How French Artists and Intellectuals Survived the Nazi Occupation


  • Blue ribbon Mark Thompson, The White War: Life & Death on the Italian Front 1915–1919




  • Blue ribbon Toby Wilkinson, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt: the History of a Civilisation from 3000 BC to Cleopatra[2]
  • Amanda Foreman, A World on Fire: an Epic History of Two Nations Divided
  • Philip Mansel, Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe in the Mediterranean
  • Roger Moorhouse, Berlin at War: Life and Death in Hitler's Capital 1939–1945





  • Blue ribbon Jessie Childs, God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England
  • Mark Bostridge, The Fateful Year: England 1914
  • Ronald Hutton, Pagan Britain
  • Robert Tombs, The English and Their History
  • Jenny Uglow, In These Times: Living in Britain through Napoleon's Wars



The shortlist was announced 7 June 2017.[6] The winner was announced 10 July.[7]

  • Blue ribbon David Olusoga, Black and British: a Forgotten History
  • Sarah Bakewell, At The Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails
  • Jerry Brotton, This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World
  • Susan L. Carruthers, The Good Occupation: American Soldiers and the Hazards of Peace
  • Dan Cruickshank, Spitalfields: The History of a Nation in a Handful of Streets
  • Frank Dikötter, The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962–1976
  • Tim Whitmarsh, Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World


  1. ^ a b "PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize - English PEN". English PEN. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  2. ^ Brenda Maddox (8 April 2011). "What Fuels Our Appetite for War?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  3. ^ Felicity Capon (8 April 2013). "Keith Lowe awarded the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for history". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  4. ^ Timothy R. Smith (April 9, 2014). "David Reynolds wins PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize". Washington Post. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  5. ^ Natasha Onwuemezi (April 1, 2016). "Stargardt wins the PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize 2016". The Bookseller. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  6. ^ Katherine Cowdrey (7 June 2017). "'Satisfying' PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize shortlist revealed". The Bookseller. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  7. ^ Robert Sharp (10 July 2017). "David Olusoga wins PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize 2017 for Black and British". English PEN. Retrieved 10 November 2017.

External links[edit]