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In 2021, the prize was won by Harry Splilane for his essay on ‘Two bibles, one printer: the Bishops’ and Geneva Bibles in Elizabethan and early Jacobean England’.

This essay explores how the printing practices of the Queen’s Printers in Elizabethan England served to create visual similarities between the Bishops’ and Geneva Bibles over time. These bibles were widely seen as opposites and the Bishops’ Bible had been expressly created in 1568 to limit the spread of the Geneva Bible in England. However, by 1603, it could be difficult to tell them apart. The essay explores how printing practices and the duplication of images, title pages and decoration—all designed to make the production of bibles more efficient—actually served to create links and similarities between the two versions as well as contradictions and clashes.