One of the two Annibel Jenkins Biography Prize went to John Radner's book Johnson and Boswell: A Biography of Friendship. The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, who gives out the award, said of Radner's book "[it]is a wholly original biography of a biography, Boswell's Life of Johnson. Radner, tracing a history of collaboration and resistance, shows in meticulous detail how the relationship between Boswell and Johnson was often over the years a struggle for dominance. His book reveals a contest between two powerful personalities for narrative control in which Johnson both cooperates and resists his friend. Their friendship, competitive as well as a deep, produced a literary triumph. This book is, according to the committee, innovative and a "remarkable exercise in biography" written in "elegant and attractive" prose.
The other prize went to Michel Kwass for his book Contraband.
The prize is named in memory of Annibel Jenkins, Professor of English at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She was one of the founding members of the Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Dr. Jenkins spent her career studying and writing about the lives and works of Nicholas Rowe, Elizabeth Inchbald, and other Restoration and eighteenth-century dramatists. An outstanding teacher and scholar, with a particular interest in the drama of eighteenth-century England, she continued to inspire confidence and give encouragement to young scholars and draw them further into the life of the academic world and beyond the classroom.
The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is a non-profit, educational group founded to promote the study of all aspects of the eighteenth century. It sponsors conferences, awards, fellowships and prizes, and publishes Eighteenth-Century Studies and Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture.
March 26, 2015