Marina Warner

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Marina Warner
Born(1946-11-09) 9 November 1946 (age 67)
London, England
OccupationMythographer, novelist, lecturer, professor
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Marina Warner
Born(1946-11-09) 9 November 1946 (age 67)
London, England
OccupationMythographer, novelist, lecturer, professor

Marina Sarah Warner, CBE, FBA FRSL (born 9 November 1946 in London, England) is a British novelist, short story writer, historian and mythographer. She is known for her many non-fiction books relating to feminism and myth. She resigned from her position as Professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex in 2014, sharply criticizing moves towards "for-profit business model" Universities in the U.K.

Early life[edit]

She was born in London to an English father and Italian mother. Her paternal grandfather was the English cricketer Sir Pelham Warner.[1] She was brought up in Cairo, Brussels and in Berkshire, England, where she studied at St Mary's School, Ascot. She studied French and Italian at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.[1] In 1971, she married William Shawcross, with whom she had a son Conrad Shawcross;[2] the couple later divorced.


Her first book was The Dragon Empress: The Life and Times of Tz'u-hsi, Empress Dowager of China, 1835–1908 (1972), followed by the controversial Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (1976) a provocative study of Roman Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary. These were followed by Monuments & Maidens: The Allegory of the Female Form and Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism.

Her novel The Lost Father was on the Booker Prize shortlist in 1988; the non-fiction From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers won a Mythopoeic Award in 1996. The companion study of the male terror figure (from ancient myth and folklore to modern obsessions), No Go the Bogeyman: On Scaring, Lulling, and Making Mock, was published in 2000 and won the British Academy's Rose Mary Crawshay Prize that year. Warner's other novels include The Leto Bundle and Indigo.[1] Her book Phantasmagoria (2006) traces the ways in which "the spirit" has been represented across different mediums, from waxworks to cinema. In December 2012, she presented a programme on BBC Radio Four about the Brothers Grimm. A collection of her writings about art is scheduled to be published under the title The Symbol Gives Rise to Thought, by Violette Editions.[3]

She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1984.[4] She gave the 1994 Reith Lectures on Managing Monsters and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours for services to literature.[5] Received an honorary doctorate (DLitt) from the University of Oxford on 21 June 2006

She also has honorary degrees from the Universities of Exeter, York and St Andrews, and honorary doctorates from Sheffield Hallam University and the University of North London.[1] She takes up a Chair in English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London in September 2014. She is currently a fellow of All Souls College Oxford and Chair of the judges of Man Booker International Prize 2015.[6]

Honours and awards[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d British Council Contemporary Writers.
  2. ^ Vanity Fair, June 12, 2009
  3. ^ The Symbol Gives Rise to Thought on Violette Editions.
  4. ^ "Royal Society of Literature All Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58729. p. 8. 14 June 2008.
  6. ^ Official website
  7. ^ John Williams (14 January 2012). "National Book Critics Circle Names 2012 Award Finalists". New York Times. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  8. ^ John Williams (1 March 2013). "Robert A. Caro, Ben Fountain Among National Book Critics Circle Winners". New York Times. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "2013 Sheikh Zayed Book Award Winners Announced". 3 April 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Book Award promotes new category in Berlin". Khaleej Times. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Elizabeth Wright
Karen O'Brien
Rose Mary Crawshay Prize
Joanne Wilkes
Succeeded by
Annette Peach
Lucy Newlyn