Ross King Wins the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize for Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of Water Lilies
The Winner of the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize is Ross King (Oxford, England) for his book Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of Water Lilies by Ross King (Oxford, England), published by Bond Street Books. The $25,000 award was announced today by Prize founder and Chair Noreen Taylor during a gala luncheon celebrating this year’s finalists at The Omni King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto. In addition to the cash prize, Mr. King received a crystal trophy and a leather-bound version of his book.
Noreen Taylor, prize founder and chair of the Charles Taylor Foundation expressed her delight, stating: “Well-crafted prose assumes even greater prestige and authority as we face a near-daily barrage of ‘alternative facts’ and things that read ‘as if’ they are true. The RBC Taylor Prize is proud to continue our tradition of support for this essential branch of our national literature. Of course, the task of championing the best in non-fiction reading is a whole lot easier when you have such fine writers as the 2017 finalists.”
Vijay Parmar, president of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, added: “On behalf of RBC Wealth Management, congratulations to Ross King on this remarkable achievement. He joins an impressive list of authors who have played a part in shaping our country’s literary non-fiction landscape. We are proud to partner with the Charles Taylor Foundation in recognizing the amazing talent of Canadian non-fiction writers as Presenting Sponsor of the RBC Taylor Prize.”
To download high-resolution images of the winner and finalists and their book covers please go to: www.rbctaylorprize.ca/2017/rbctp_2017_finalist_covers_and_authors.zip.
To download high-resolution images of the trustees, jurors, longlisted and shortlisted authors, and winner please go to: www.rbctaylorprize.ca/2017/2017_trustees_and_jury.zip
In its citation of the winning book, the jury notes: “Claude Monet’s Water Lilies paintings in the Musée de l’Orangerie at the Jardin Tuileries rank among the greatest masterpieces of world art. Their creation came late in Monet’s life when cataracts marred his sight, death struck his wife and son, and war raged close to his lily ponds at Giverny. Ross King brilliantly captures the furies of Monet and the enormous challenges he overcame in painting the twenty-two panels of lilies that surround l’Orangerie. An exceptional art historian, King grasps the political tempests of wartime France, and his portrait of Monet’s close friend, French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, will be essential reading for all who want to understand the intersection of politics, nationalism, and culture in France during the First World War. In this elegantly written and superbly researched book, Ross King illuminates Water Lilies and Monet as no one has before.”
About the winner: Ross King is the author of The Judgment of Paris, Brunelleschi’s Dome, Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling, Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven and Leonardo and the Last Supper. His work has twice won the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction and has been shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize. Born and raised in Canada, he holds degrees from the University of Regina, York University in Toronto and University College, London. He now lives near Oxford, England.
The four remaining finalists — Max Eisen (Toronto, ON) for By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz, published by HarperCollins Publishers; Matti Friedman (Jerusalem) for Pumpkinflowers: An Israeli Soldier’s Story, published by Signal/McClelland & Stewart; Marc Raboy (Montreal, QC) for Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World, published by Oxford University Press; and Diane Schoemperlen (Kingston, ON) for This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications, published by HarperCollins Canada — each received a $2000 honorarium, a leather-bound version of their book, and extensive publicity.
The jurors for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize are John English, Ann MacMillan, and Colin McAdam. They read and evaluated 101 books written by Canadian authors and submitted by 29 Canadian and international publishers to determine the winner for this, the sixteenth awarding of the prestigious prize.
Established as a biennial prize in 1998 by the trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation, 2017 marks the sixteenth awarding of the RBC Taylor Prize, which commemorates Charles Taylor’s pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction. Awarded to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception, the Prize consists of $25,000 for the winner and $2,000 for each of the remaining finalists, as well as promotional support to help all of the nominated books to stand out in the media, bookstores, and libraries.
Sharing a commitment to emerging Canadian talent, the Charles Taylor Foundation and RBC will also grant the fourth annual RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Award. Shortly after the announcement of the 2017 Prize, its winner will name their choice of emerging author to receive this $10,000 award.
The trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation are: Michael Bradley, Vijay Parmar, David Staines, Edward Taylor, Nadina Taylor, and Noreen Taylor.
The presenting sponsor of the RBC Taylor Prize is RBC Wealth Management. Its media sponsors are The Globe and Mail, CBC Books, CNW Group, The Huffington Post Canada, Maclean’s magazine, and Quill & Quiremagazine; its in-kind sponsors are Ben McNally Books, Event Source, IFOA, The Omni King Edward Hotel, and the Toronto Public Library Board.
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