Dr Edward Wilson-Lee's biography, The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books, has recently been awarded the 2019 Hessell-Tiltman Prize by the English PEN organisaton, which is given annually to the best history book of the preceding year.

Edward's book explores the story of Christopher Columbus’ illegitimate son Hernando Colón, who sought to equal and surpass his father’s achievements by creating a universal library to harness the vast powers of the new printing presses to assemble the world’s knowledge in one place. Hernando's tale had never before been told in English until The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books.

The judges noted, "The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books was a unanimous choice. We felt it stood out for its combination of compelling original research with elegant writing and a gripping narrative, bringing together histories of exploration, scholarship and personal and national identity".

You can read further comments from the judging panel and discover Edward's reaction on the English PEN website.

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