Marina Warner

Marina Warner
Marina Warner
Born 9 November 1946 (1946-11-09) (age 65)
London, England
Occupation Mythographer, Novelist, Lecturer, Professor

Marina Sarah Warner, CBE, FBA (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 is currently Professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex.


Early life

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; 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 adoration 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. Her 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

She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1984.[2] 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.[3] 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 is currently Professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex.[4]

Honours and awards

  • 1984 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
  • 1986 Fawcett Society Book Prize for Monuments and Maidens: The Allegory of the Female Form
  • 1988 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist) for The Lost Father
  • 1989 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia Region, Best Book) for The Lost Father
  • 1989 PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award for The Lost Father
  • 1996 Mythopoeic Award for From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers
  • 1999 Katharine Briggs Folklore Award for No Go the Bogeyman: Scaring, Lulling and Making Mock
  • 2000 Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
  • 2000 Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for English Literature for No Go the Bogeyman: Scaring, Lulling and Making Mock
  • 2005 Elected Fellow of the British Academy
  • 2008 CBE


  • The Dragon Empress: Life and Times of Tz'u-hsi 1835-1908 (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1972)
  • Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1976) ISBN 0-330-28771-0
  • In a Dark Wood (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1977)
  • Queen Victoria Sketch Book (Macmillan, 1979)
  • The Crack in the Tea-Cup: Britain in the 20th Century (André Deutsch, 1979)
  • Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1981)
  • The Impossible Day (Methuen, 1981)
  • The Impossible Night (Methuen, 1981)
  • The Impossible Bath (Methuen, 1982)
  • The Impossible Rocket (Methuen, 1982)
  • The Skating Party (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1982)
  • The Wobbly Tooth (André Deutsch, 1984)
  • Monuments and Maidens: The Allegory of the Female Form (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1985)
  • The Lost Father (Chatto & Windus, 1988)
  • Into the Dangerous World (Chatto & Windus, 1989)
  • Imagining a Democratic Culture (Charter 88, 1991)
  • Indigo (Chatto & Windus, 1992)
  • L'Atalante (British Film Institute, 1993)
  • Mermaids in the Basement (Chatto & Windus, 1993)
  • Richard Wentworth (Thames & Hudson, 1993)
  • From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers (Chatto & Windus, 1994)
  • Managing Monsters: Six Myths of Our Time (Reith Lectures) (Vintage, 1994)
  • Wonder Tales: Six Stories of Enchantment (editor) (Chatto & Windus, 1994)
  • Six Myths Of Our Time: Little Angels, Little Monsters, Beautiful Beasts, and More (New York: Vintage Books, 1995)
  • Donkey Business Donkey Work: Magic and Metamorphoses in Contemporary Opera (University of Wales, 1996)
  • The Inner Eye: Art beyond the Visible (National Touring Exhibitions, 1996)
  • No Go the Bogeyman: Scaring, Lulling and Making Mock (Chatto & Windus, 1998)
  • The Leto Bundle (Chatto & Windus, 2001)
  • Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds (Oxford University Press, 2002)
  • Murderers I Have Known and Other Stories (Chatto & Windus, 2002)
  • Collected Poems by Sally Purcell: (preface) (Anvil Press, 2002)
  • Signs & Wonders: Essays on Literature and Culture (Chatto & Windus, 2003)
  • Phantasmagoria (Oxford University Press, 2006)
  • Stranger Magic: Charmed States & The Arabian Nights (Chatto & Windus, 2011)


  1. ^ a b c d [1], British Council Contemporary Writers.
  2. ^ "Royal Society of Literature All Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  3. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58729. p. 8. 14 June 2008.
  4. ^ Official website

External links

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

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