Eurospan is delighted to announce that Professor Ann McGrath has won the General History Prize at the New South Wales Premier's History Awards, Australia, for her latest book Illicit Love: Interracial Sex & Marriage in the United States & Australia.

Published by the University of Nebraska Press, Illicit Love explores a history of love, sex and marriage between Indigenous peoples and settler citizens at the heart of two settler colonial nations, the United States and Australia. McGrath illuminates interracial relationships from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century through stories of romance, courtship, and marriage between Indigenous peoples and colonisers in times of nation formation.

Illicit Love reveals how marriage itself was used by disparate parties for both empowerment and disempowerment and came to embody the contradictions of imperialism. A tour de force of settler colonial history, McGrath’s study demonstrates vividly how interracial relationships between Indigenous and colonising peoples were more frequent and threatening to nation-states in the Atlantic and Pacific worlds than historians have previously acknowledged.

Illicit Love

The General History Prize has featured in the New South Wales Premier’s History Awards since its inception in 1997. The awards are held annually and celebrate achievement in history by Australian citizens and permanent residents. The General History Prize is awarded to a major published work of non-fiction on international history that is of national or international significance. More information about the awards can be found here.

In response to her win, McGrath commented:

"I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to receive such a prestigious award, especially against such stellar competition. I wanted the readers to connect closely with the stories of real people who loved and lived and who raised families against great obstacles. This was a hard book to pull off, and I almost gave up on it, but I knew that the history of
Illicit Love had the potential to provide a totally new way of looking at nations. I wanted to shed new light upon the dynamics of marriage, colonialism, sovereignty and the transnational. Through this award, most of all, I hope that even more readers will get to know the courageous characters whose stories I narrated."

Earlier this year McGrathwas presented with the 2016 John Douglas Kerr Medal of Distinction for Historical Research and Writing for Illicit Love and also in recognition of her achievements in academia generally – congratulations Ann!

Illicit Love is available to buy from Eurospan customers in Asia-Pacific only.