About This Award

The Roland H. Bainton Book Prizes are named in honor of one of the most irenic church historians of the twentieth century. Roland H. Bainton was professor of church history at the seminary of Yale University for many years, the advisor of many Ph.D. students, the author of over a dozen important books, and an ardent supporter of early modern studies.

Four prizes are awarded yearly for the best books written in English dealing with three categories within the time frame of 1450-1660: Art and Music History, History/Theology, Literature, and Reference Works. The prize-winning book in each category is chosen by a committee of three SCSC members appointed by the president of the SCSC who shall also designate one of the three to serve as chair.

Criteria for selection shall include:

  1. quality and originality of research
  2. methodological skill and/or innovation
  3. development of fresh and stimulating interpretations or insights
  4. literary quality

Nominations for the prize may be made by anyone. Either the publisher or the author shall send three case-bound copies of the book to the Executive Director of the SCSC who in turn will send books to each member of the various prize committees. The books to be considered for the prize will be those books published within the preceding calendar year. Anthologies and collections of essays will not be accepted, except in the reference category. The deadline for submission of a book is be 1 April of each year. Announcement of the awards will be made by the chair of each committee at the annual business meeting of the SCSC. An announcement of the awards will also be published in The Sixteenth Century Journal and Perspectives on History of the American Historical Association. In each category, the award will include a certificate to be sent to the publisher and the author plus $500.00 to be sent to the author.

Previous Winners

  • 2014 -
    • History/Theology: Sandra Cavallo and Tessa Storey, Healthy Living in Late Renaissance Italy (Oxford University Press, 2013)
    • Literature: Carmen Nocentelli, Empires of Love: Europe, Asia and the Making of Early Modern Identity (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013)
    • Art History: Sarah Blake McHam, Pliny and the Artistic Culture of the Italian Renaissance: the Legacy of the Natural History (Yale University Press, 2013)
    • Reference: Tom Cain and Ruth Connolly, The Complete Poetry of Robert Herrick (Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • 2013 -
    • History/Theology: Paul Lim, Mystery Unveiled (Oxford University Press, 2012)
    • Literature: Helen Smith, Grossly Material Things (Oxford University Press, 2012)
    • Art History: Angela Vanhaelen, The Wake of Iconoclasm (Pennsylvania State University Press 2012)
    • Reference: Roger Kuin, ed. The Correspondence of Sir Philip Sidney (Oxford University Press 2012)
  • 2012 -
    • History/Theology: Alexandra Walsham, The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity, and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)
    • Literature: Andreas Hofele, Stage, Stake, and Scaffold: Humans and Animals in Shakespeare's Theatre (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)
    • Art History: Susan Dackerman, Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Harvard Art Museum, 2011)
    • Reference: Joad Raymond, The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture: Cheap Print in Britain and Ireland to 1660 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • 2011 -
    • History/Theology: Ulinka Rublack, Dressing Up: Cultural History in Renaissance Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)
    • Literature: Joad Raymond, Milton's Angels: The Early-Modern Imagination (Oxford University of Press, 2010)
    • Art History: Stephanie Leitch, Mapping Ethnography in Early Modern Germany: New Worlds in Print Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
    • Reference: Hilaire Kallendorf, The New Companion to Hispanic Mysticism, ed. Hilaire Kallendorf. Brill's Companions to the Christian Tradition, 19. Pp. xxii, 516. (Brill,2010)
  • 2010 -
    • History/Theology: Joel Harrington, The Unwanted Child: the Fate of Foundings, Orphans, and Juvenile Criminals in Early Modern Germany, 1450-1660 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010)
    • Literature: Carla Mazzio, The Inarticulate Renaissance: Language Trouble in an Age of Eloquence (Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010)
    • Art History: Shelley Perlove and Larry Silver, Rembrandt's Faith: Church and Temple in the Dutch Golden Age (Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010)
    • Reference: Michael Pincombe and Cathy Shrank, The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • 2009 -
    • History/Theology: Alison Games, The Web of Empire: English Cosmopolitans in an Age of Expansion, 1560-1660 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)
    • Literature: Jennifer Summit, Memory's Library: Medieval Books in Early Modern England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008) Art History: Karen Bowen and Dirk Imhof, Christopher Plantin and Engraved Book Illustrations in Sixteenth-Century Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008)
  • 2008 -
    • History/Theology: Sara Beam, Laughing Matters: Farce and the Making of Absolutism in France (Cornell: Ithaca & London, 2007). Honorable Mention: Charles Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft: Print and Visual Culture in Sixteenth-Century Europe (Routledge: London & New York, 2007)
    • Literature: Lorna Hutson, The Invention of Suspicion: Law and Mimesis in Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). Honorable Mention: Bradin Cormack, A Power to Do Justice: Jurisdiction, English Literature, and the Rise of Common Law (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007)
    • Art History: Thomas P. Campbell, Henry VIII and the Art of Majesty. Tapestries at the Tudor Court. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007)
    • Reference: Diana Robin, Anne R. Larsen, and Carole Levin, eds., Encyclopedia of Women in the Renaissance. Italy, France, and England (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC/CLIO, 2007)
  • 2007 -
    • History/Theology: Valerie Kivelson, Cartographies of Tsardom: The Land and Its Meanings in Seventeenth-Century Russia. (Cornell University Press)
    • Art History:Larry Silver, Peasant Scenes and Landscapes; The Rise of Pictorial Genres in the Antwerp Art Market (University of Pennsylvania Press)
    • Literature: Robert Appelbaum, Aguecheek's Beef, Belch's Hicup, and Other Gastronomic Interjections: Literature, Culture, and Food among the Early Moderns (University of Chicago Press)
    • Honorable Mention: Debora Shuger, Censorship and Cultural Sensibility: The Regulation of Language in Tudor-Stuart England (University of Pennsylvania Press)
    • Reference: Richard M. Golden, ed. The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft(ABC-CLIO)
  • 2006 -
    • History and Theology: Allyson M. Poska, Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain: The Peasants of Galicia (Oxford University Press, 2005)
    • Honorable Mention: Linda Levy Peck, Consuming Splendor: Society and Culture in Seventeenth-Century England (Cambridge University Press, 2005)
    • Art History: Bronwen Wilson, The World in Venice: Print, the City and Early Modern Identity (University of Toronto Press, 2005)
    • Literature: Andrew Hadfield, Shakespeare and Republicanism (Cambridge University Press, 2005)
    • Reference: The Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare: A Comprehensive Guide for Students (Greenwood Press, 2005)
  • 2005 -
    • History and Theology: Lyndal Roper. The Witch craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany (Yale University Press, 2004)
    • Honorable Mention: Govind Sreenivasan, The Peasants of Ottobeuren, 1487-1726 (Cambridge University Press, 2004)
    • Art History: Joseph Herl, Worship Wars in Early Lutheranism: Choir, Congregation, and Three Centuries of Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2004)
    • Literature: Deanne Williams, The French Fetish from Shakespeare to Chaucer (Cambridge U Press, 2004)
    • Reference: Robert Tittler, Norman Jones, eds. A Companion to Tudor Britain (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2004)
  • 2004 -
    • Art History: Joseph Herl, Worship Wars in Early Lutheranism: Choir, Congregation, and Three Centuries of Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2004)
    • Literature: Deanne Williams, The French Fetish from Shakespeare to Chaucer (Cambridge University Press, 2004)
    • History: Lyndal Roper, The Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany (Yale University Press, 2004)
    • * Honorable mention to Govind Sreenivasan, The Peasants of Ottobeuren, 1487-1726 (Cambridge University Press, 2004)
    • Reference: Robert Tittler and Norman Jones, editors, A Companion to Tudor Britain (Blackwell, 2004)
  • 2003 -
    • Art History: Filip Vermeylen, Painting for the Market: Commercialization of Art in Antwerp's Golden Age (Turnhout: Brepols)
    • Literature: Margaret Ferguson, Dido\u2019s Daughters: Literacy, Gender, and Empire in Early Modern England and France (University of Chicago Press, 2003)
    • History: Francis Oakley, The Conciliarist Tradition (Oxford, 2003)
    • Reference: Jonathan Dewald, Europe, 1450-1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World (Charles Scribner\u2019s Sons, 2003)
  • 2002 -
    • History and Theology: Ethan Shagan, Popular Politics and the English Reformation (Cambridge, 2002)
    • Literature: Jeffrey Knapp. Shakespeare's Tribe: Church, Nation, and Theater in Renaissance England (Chicago, 2002)
    • Art History and Music: Jeffrey Chipps Smith, Sensuous Worship: Jesuits and the Art of the Early Catholic Reformation in Germany (Princeton, 2002)