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Companions of Literature

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Ondaatje Prize

Jerwood Awards

VS Pritchett Prize
Companions of Literature
Benson Medal

Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize


The title Companion of Literature was inaugurated in 1961, and is held by up to ten writers at any one time.

At the moment the honour held by:

Seamus Heaney
Sir Michael Holroyd
Patrick Leigh Fermor
Doris Lessing
VS Naipaul
Harold Pinter
Tom Stoppard
William Trevor

All Companions of Literature have visited the Society and addressed its Fellows and Members in recent years.

Past recipients

  • Sir Winston Churchill
  • EM Forster
  • John Masefield
  • W Somerset Maugham
  • GM Trevelyan
  • Edmund Blunden
  • Aldous Huxley
  • Dame Edith Sitwell
  • Evelyn Waugh
  • Elizabeth Bowen
  • Cecil Day-Lewis
  • Sir Osbert Sitwell
  • Sir John Betjeman
  • Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett
  • Sir Compton Mackenzie
  • Dame Rebecca West
  • Lord David Cecil
  • Cyril Connolly
  • LP Hartley
  • Sir Angus Wilson
  • Ruth Pitter
  • Lord Clark
  • Arthur Koestler
  • Philip Larkin
  • David Garnett
  • Sir Stephen Spender
  • Samuel Beckett
  • William Golding
  • Graham Greene
  • Rosamund Lehmann
  • Dame Iris Murdoch
  • Sir Victor Pritchett
  • The Hon Sir Steven Runciman 
  • Anthony Burgess
  • Dame Muriel Spark
  • Sybille Bedford

VS Naipaul

VS Naipaul receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001 ©

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