McKay Book Prize
The Vergilian Society is pleased to announce that the 2012 McKay Book Prize has been won by David Scott Wilson-Okamura, for his Virgil in the Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
For many years, people have noted that Virgil played a fundamental role in the development of Renaissance culture, but that there has been no effort to survey how this happened. The problem is the sheer mass of relevant material: every schoolboy knew Virgil, so the impact of his poetry was felt everywhere for centuries. Wilson-Okamura had the courage to wade into this mass of material, and the clarity of vision to make sense of it. He set out not to provide a complete catalogue of every Virgilian reference over the centuries, but to isolate the basic features of what every educated person in Renaissance Europe thought they knew about Virgil. Relying on a group of key commentaries, many of them largely unread today, Wilson-Okamura gives us a Virgil who is like the one we recognize now in some ways, but different in others. Virgil in the Renaissance is an important book, both as a synthesis in itself and as a foundation on which more specialized studies can be built.
We are grateful to Professor Wilson-Okamura for his work, and to Stephen Harrison and Christine Perkell for serving on the McKay Book Prize committee for this cycle.