Marina Warner is a British novelist, short story writer and historian.
Marina Sarah Warner, CBE, FBA FRSL (born 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 has written for many publications over the years, including The London Review of Books, the New Statesman, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and Vogue. She has also been a visiting professor, given lectures and taught on the faculties of many universities. 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 UK.
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 Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism (1981) and Monuments & Maidens: The Allegory of the Female Form (1985).
Warner's novel The Lost Father was on the Booker Prize shortlist in 1988; her non-fiction book 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 (2001) and Indigo (1992). 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.
She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1984. 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. She received an honorary doctorate (DLitt) from the University of Oxford on 21 June 2006. She also has honorary degrees from the Universities of Exeter (1995), York (1997) and St Andrews (1998), and honorary doctorates from Sheffield Hallam University (1995), the University of North London (1997), the Tavistock Institute (University of East London; 1999), Oxford University (2002), the Royal College of Art (2004), University of Kent (2005), the University of Leicester (2006), and King’s College London (2009).
She was a professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex from 2004 until her resignation in 2014. She took 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 the Man Booker International Prize 2015.