Event 19 | Dame Marina Warner | Inventory of a Life Mislaid


Dame Marina Warner – Inventory of a Life Mislaid – An Unreliable Memoir

Marina Warner charts her childhood in the tumultuous Egypt of the 1950s. Her beautiful, penniless young mother, Ilia, leaves Italy in 1945 to travel to London alone. Her husband, Esmond, is still away at war in the East. Upon his return, and without prospect, they move to Cairo and open an English bookshop, a branch of WH Smith’s. But growing resistance to foreign interests, especially British, erupts in the 1952 uprising in which the bookshop burns. Both historical and speculative, Marina’s memoir powerfully resurrects the fraught union and unrequited hopes of her parents where memory intertwines with myth.

An illustrated talk, in conversation with Prue Keely

When: Wednesday 10th November 2021 @ 2.30 pm
Where: The Bull Ballroom
Sponsored by: Jim Bartos


Dame Marina Warner is a writer of fiction, criticism and history; her works include novels and short stories as well as studies in art, myths, symbols and fairy tales.  She was educated in convent schools in Cairo, Brussels and Ascot and read Modern Languages at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford of which she is now an Honorary Fellow.  She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College London and a Distinguished Fellow of All Souls Oxford.  She is also a Fellow of the British Academy and was made DBE in 2015 for services to literature and higher education.


Prue Keely was for many years in broadcast journalism which included LBC, Channel 4 News and BBC Radio 4. She has embraced the not-for-profit life of Boards – among other the Independent Monitoring Board of HMP Portland and the Arts University Bournemouth.  She lives in Dorset and London.

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