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The official publication of the North American Conference on British Studies (NACBS), the Journal of British Studies, has positioned itself as the critical resource for scholars of British culture from the Middle Ages through the present. Drawing on both established and emerging approaches, JBS presents scholarly articles and books reviews from renowned international authors who share their ideas on British society, politics, law, economics, and the arts. In 2005 (Vol. 44), the journal merged with the NACBS publication Albion, creating one journal for NACBS membership.


The JOHN BEN SNOW PRIZE is a $500 prize awarded annually by the North American Conference on British Studies for the best book by a North American scholar in any field of British Studies dealing with the period from the Middle Ages through the eighteenth century. The author must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or Canada and be living in either country at the time of the award. Nominations may be made by the author or by the publisher of the book nominated. A publisher may nominate more than one title each year but should use discretion and not overburden the Prize Committee.

 The 2018 competition covers books published in 2017. Separate copies of the letter of nomination and of the book nominated should be sent by April 1, 2018 to each member of the Prize Committee. (Only books sent to every committee member can be considered.)
Note: U.S. authors and publishers sending book copies to committee members in Canada must specify contents as a complimentary book copy with $0 value on the customs form, and/or use USPS rather than private shippers, to avoid incurring a duty upon receipt. 
For prompt attention, mark packages 'NACBS Prize Committee'. Send all relevant materials to:

Chair: Tim Stretton
Department of History
St. Mary's University
923 Robie Street,
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada, B3H 3C3
Frances Dolan
Department of English 
Voorhies Hall
1 Shields Avenue 
University of California-Davis 
Davis, CA 95616
Ted McCormick
Department of History
J.W. McConnell Building,
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd W.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
H3G 1M8


William Cavert (University of St. Thomas), The Smoke of London: Energy and the Environment in the Early Modern City (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

When did we come to accept pollution as a natural and inevitable price of life in the city? As Will Cavert shows in this remarkable book, it was not industrialization but early modern urbanization — and the energy needs that were increasingly satisfied by the turn from timber to coal — that led to our understanding of cities as places not in, but in conflict with, their environments. Centuries before the Great Stink and the Big Smoke, seventeenth and eighteenth-century Londoners had to learn to tolerate the air they breathed. Smog became a part of urban life, a symbol as much of development as of corruption, of productivity and peril alike. Moreover, it produced other spaces of retreat, from royal palaces to suburban and country houses; gardens came to serve as palliative forms of public sphere, far healthier but no less political than the coffeehouse. From the Court to the stage, the environment, Cavert shows, was as much a problem of political economy as it was of public health. This book, as compelling as it is timely, cuts through the smoke of urban, environmental, medical, scientific, political, social, commercial, literary, and cultural histories to reveal just how heavily affected early modern London was by what floated above it, and how much that history in the air laid the ground for the nexus of power, pollution, and progress that continues to define the modern world.