SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Professor Marina Warner

  • Teaching


Marina Warner
Near and Middle East Section, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Professorial Research Associate

Professor Marina Warner


Marina Warner’s mother was Italian and her father an English bookseller; she was brought up in Egypt, Belgium, and Cambridge, England. She has been a writer since she was young, specialising in mythology and fairy-tales, with an emphasis on the part women play in them. Her award-winning books include Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (l976), Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism (l982), From the Beast to the Blonde (1994) and No Go the Bogeyman (1998). In l994 she gave the BBC Reith Lectures on the theme of Six Myths of Our Time. Her books include Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors, and Media (2006), and Stranger Magic: Charmed States and The Arabian Nights (2011). She also writes fiction: The Lost Father (l988), was short listed for the Booker prize, and in 2000, The Leto Bundle (2000) was long-listed.  She has curated exhibitions, including The Inner Eye (l996), Metamorphing (2002-3), and Only Make-Believe: Ways of Playing (2005). She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Her latest book is Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (OUP, 2014). A collection of short stories Out of the Burning House will be published by Salt in autumn 2015, and a collection of essays on art and artists, The Symbol Gives Rise to Thought, is forthcoming.  She is Chair of the Man Booker International Prize for 2015, and is convening a series of seminars, 'Orienting Fiction’, at All Souls, Oxford in Trinity Term, 2015, and is writing a memoir-cum-novel set in Cairo in the Fifties.