The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

2011 Pulitzer Prize Finalists Have MHS Connections

On Monday, 18 April, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced the winners of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize.   Included on the list of finalists were two authors with ties to the MHS.  Michael O'Brien was named a finalist for the prize in biography for his project Mrs. Adams in Winter: A Journey in the Last Days of Napoleon, and Michael Rawson was named a finalist for the history prize for his project Eden on the Charles: The Making of Boston.

In crafting Mrs. Adams in Winter, a lively combination of biography, travel literature, European cultural history, and Adams family history, Michael O'Brien used a number of MHS resources, including the the microfilm edition of the Adams Family Papers, the online edition of the John Quincy Adams diaries, and the published editions of the Adams Papers.  He also spent time at the MHS researching Louisa Catherine Adams' correspondence and other writings. While researching at the MHS, O'Brien presented a brown bag lunch program recounting what he learned as he retraced Louisa Catherine Adams' route from St. Petersburg to Paris. And on 31 March 2010, many MHS friends and members had the pleasure of attending a lecture and book signing for the Mrs. Adams project.  

Mike Rawson, a native of Medford, MA, did his graduate work at the University of Wisconsin.  In 2002, he received one of the MHS' short-term fellowships to work on his dissertation, which was the basis of Eden on the Charles.  Rawson presented a portion of his research at our Boston Environmental History Seminar in 2004 and another portion at our conference on the environmental history of Boston in 2006.  The latter piece appeared in a collection of essays originally offered at the conference, Remaking Boston: An Environmental History of the City and Its Surroundings, ed. Anthony N. Penna and Conrad Edick Wright (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009).

The MHS was thrilled to see both of these authors and their projects recognized by the Pulitzer Prize Board.  Congratulations to all of this years' winners and finalists. 

permalink | Published: Wednesday, 20 April, 2011, 9:55 AM