Illuminating Natural History Wins Award of Excellence in Biography

  • 10 June 2022

Henrietta McBurney’s book Illuminating Natural History: The Art and Science of Mark Catesby, published by the Centre last year, has received the 2022 Award of Excellence in Biography from the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries.

On winning the award, Henrietta McBurney writes: ‘I am delighted that Illuminating Natural History has won the CBHL Award of Excellence in Biography. A significant aim of my book was to bring Catesby the man to light (up until now thought of as ‘a shadowy figure’) through close study of his surviving writings, and his remarkable art and botanical specimens. An important part of my narrative is conveyed through the images. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my designer, Emily Lees, as well as other members of the Paul Mellon Centre and many colleagues and institutions for their support of the project, especially in the face of the obstacles presented by the pandemic’.

The awards were announced at the annual meeting of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries at Denver Botanic Garden on 27th May 2022.

‘All of us at the Paul Mellon Centre are delighted that Henrietta McBurney’s book has won this distinguished award. Deeply researched, lucidly written and beautifully illustrated, the book makes an extremely original contribution to our knowledge about both Mark Catesby and the art and science of natural history. We are so pleased that its many merits have been recognised by the Council on Botanical & Horticultural Libraries’. – Mark Hallett, Director of the Paul Mellon Centre.