Dr Lovell awarded the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature 2012

Dr Lovell's book, The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China has won the Jan Michalski Prize.

Dr Julia Lovell, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, has been awarded the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature 2012 for her book The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China.

The book explores the contrast between Chinese and Western reactions to the Opium Wars of 1839-1842 and 1856-1860.

Dr Lovell said: “The subject of the opium war remains important today because of the continuing significance of this war in the public memory in contemporary China. In Britain, we’ve done our best to forget that we fought this war. But in China [it] could not be more different.”

Isabel Hilton, one of the judges, commented: “The Opium War continues to influence attitudes and relations on both sides, as China struggles to define itself, and the world struggles to decide what it thinks of China.”

Vera Michalski-Hoffmann, the President of the Jury, awarded the prize of 50,000 Swiss francs and a drawing by Martial Leiter, a Swiss artist.

Dr Lovell’s book is the first non-fiction book to win the Jan Michalski Prize.

Further information:

  • Read an article by Dr Lovell about the Opium Wars on page 30 of BBK 2011 magazine.
  • Find out about history courses at Birkbeck.