Wolfson History Prize 2020
From humankind’s relationship with the world’s oceans to Indian cricket, and from Chaucer to the kingdoms of West Africa, how can history shine a light on the big issues we face today?
Wolfson History Prize 2020 winner David Abulafia and three of the shortlisted authors, Marion Turner, Toby Green and Prashant Kidambi, will explain what the fascinating global stories they have investigated can tell us about our present-day world.
David Abulafia’s book, The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans, reveals the importance of the sea to all of our stories, highlighting how it has shaped human societies and cultures for millennia.
Toby Green’s A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution explores the history of pre-colonial West Africa. It dismantles the Western notion that Africa had little history before European colonisation and reveals the rich and complex history of the region over a thousand years.
In Chaucer: A European Life, Marion Turner shines a light on the distinctly European influences that shaped the life and work of The Canterbury Tales author. She reveals how the “father of English literature” was in fact a cosmopolitan figure influenced heavily by the Continent.
Prashant Kidambi’s Cricket Country: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire explains how the first All India cricket tour of Great Britain and Ireland during the coronation summer of 1911 is a prism through which to explore colonial relations, the last days of the British Empire, and the beginning of Indian nationhood.
The Wolfson History Prize is awarded annually by the Wolfson Foundation to promote and recognise outstanding factual history written for a general audience. Books are judged on the extent to which they are carefully researched, well-written and accessible to the non-specialist reader.
The shortlist was selected by a panel of judges including David Cannadine, Richard Evans, Carole Hillenbrand and Diarmaid MacCulloch.
This event is presented by the University of York as part of York Ideas, a year-long series of events to educate, entertain and inspire, which culminates in York Festival of Ideas in June each year.
Read more here: www.wolfsonhistoryprize.org.uk/past-winners/2020-winners