The Perfection of Nature: Animals, Breeding, and Race in the Renaissance, by Assistant Professor of History Mackenzie Cooley, was recently named to the shortlist for the 2023 Cundill History Prize. The book was published last fall by the University of Chicago Press.
According to its website, the juried prize is awarded annually “to the book that embodies historical scholarship, originality, literary quality and broad appeal.” To be considered, a book must demonstrate mastery of the historian’s craft and present a well-argued study. Jurors look for a compelling narrative that “can be read with pleasure” by both historians and the general public. The book must offer a fresh perspective that will make readers change the way they think about not only the history of the topic, but also its present and future. The prize is administered by McGill University.