Dame Marina Warner made Companion of Honour

marina warner

Professor Dame Marina Sarah Warner CBE FBA, an Honorary Fellow at St Cross, was awarded Companion of Honour (CH) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2022 for her services to the humanities.

Dame Marina Warner is a novelist, cultural historian, art critic, curator, librettist, broadcaster, essayist and critic. She has been a Professor at Birkbeck College since 2014 and is a Distinguished Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. 

“My critical and historical books and essays explore different figures in myth and fairy tale and the art and literature they have inspired, from my early studies of the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc to more recent work on the Arabian Nights,” said Dame Marina about her work in 2010.  

“I hope, I believe that literature can be ‘strong enough to help’, to borrow Seamus Heaney’s wonderful comment about poetry.” 

She was given the Holberg Prize and a DBE for services to education and literary scholarship in 2015, made President of the Royal Society of Literature, and given a British Academy “Lifetime Achievement” award in 2017. She is profoundly involved in the cultural and educational life of the country. 

Dame Marina's intellectual interests range across Europe and beyond, including her work on French and Italian literature, on mythology, and folklore of Eastern European cultures. She is invited to speak all over the world, is a widely-read cultural commentator and a highly respected academic and teacher. 

She has been a pioneer for women’s roles, as one of the few women Reith Lecturers and the first woman President of the RSL.   

Dame Marina was born in London in 1946, of an Italian mother and an English father who was a bookseller. After primary schools in Cairo and Brussels, she was educated in England at St Mary’s Convent, Ascot, and then read French and Italian as an undergraduate at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. 

More details can be found at her personal website.  

Congratulations, Dame Marina, on this high award!