Photograph from the Heritage Photograph Collection, Archives and Research Collections, Carleton University Library.
The prize for the best book published by a Canadian medievalist is named for the Society’s first President Dr Margaret Wade Labarge. It was instantly dubbed “The Polly,” reflecting the nickname by which this warm and beloved medievalist was known from coast to coast.
Throughout her career Dr Labarge was an academic anomaly. She was an inspiring figure and a respected independent scholar. Although she taught at Carleton and Ottawa from time to time, she did not hold a full-time academic appointment. Nevertheless, she was a sought-after speaker and her scholarship was acclaimed across Canada and throughout the United Kingdom and the United States. She wrote nine books on a sweeping array of topics ranging from A Baronial Household of the Thirteenth Century (1965); The Life of Louis IX of France (1968); Medieval Travellers (1982); and perhaps most significantly, Women in Medieval Life (1986), a pioneering monograph dedicated to the study of women in the Middle Ages. Her contributions to medieval studies in Canada was recognized by election to the Royal Society of Canada and appointment to the Order of Canada.
With this award for an outstanding book, the Society seeks to recognize and encourage the quality and diversity of scholarship exhibited by our first President, Margaret Wade Labarge.
The Canadian Society of Medievalists / Société Canadienne des Médiévistes welcomes entries for the 2022 Margaret Wade Labarge Book Prize. The 2022 prize honours a book published in 2021 in the field of medieval studies (including monographs, editions, translations, and other categories as determined by the Prize Committee), authored or co-authored, translated or co-translated, edited or co-edited, etc. (the test being at least 50% participation) by a Canadian or someone resident in Canada. Edited collections of essays are not eligible.
The winner will be announced at the Society’s Annual General Meeting planned for May 2022. The prize includes a cash award and a three-year membership in the Society, which includes subscription to our journal, Florilegium.
The deadline for submitting three copies of an eligible book is February 1, 2022. Authors must provide proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status. Because of the changing circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact the Chair of the Margaret Wade Labarge Book Prize Committee about the best way to send books:
Dr. Debra Lacoste
The Institute of Mediaeval Music
For further information on the winning books, see the entries below this list.
2021 - John Osborne, Rome in the Eighth Century: A History in Art (Cambridge University Press, 2020)
2020 - David K. Coley, Death and the Pearl Maiden: Plague, Poetry, England (Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2019).
2019 - James Grier, Ademarus Cabannensis Monachus et Musicus. Corpus Christianorum, Autographa Medii Aevi, 7. (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018).