Marina Warner is a pioneer in the academic study of myth, but in 1985 she was prominent for her provocative books reappraising the likes of the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc as feminist figures.
Warner’s claims to fame are multifarious: not only was her grandfather the great English cricketer Sir Pelham Warner but she is herself the ‘lady writer’ of the Dire Straits song, ‘talking about the Virgin Mary’ on television. The majority of her work is non-fiction and her writings on the meaning of fairy tales and myth have made her a leading public intellectual. As well as having two of her novels shortlisted and longlisted for the prize, she has herself been a judge for the Booker Prize in 1985 and also for the International Booker Prize when she served as Chair in 2015. She was added to the Companions of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2022.