Companions of Literature

The title ‘Companion of Literature’ – the highest award bestowed by the RSL – was inaugurated in 1961, and is held by up to ten writers at any one time.

The honour is currently held by those in bold below.

Recipients

1961
Sir Winston Churchill
E.M. Forster
John Masefield
W. Somerset Maugham
G.M. Trevelyan

1962
Edmund Blunden
Aldous Huxley

1963
Dame Edith Sitwell
Evelyn Waugh

1964
Elizabeth Bowen
Cecil Day-Lewis

1967
Sir Osbert Sitwell

1968
Sir John Betjeman
Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett
Sir Compton Mackenzie
Dame Rebecca West

1972
Lord David Cecil
Cyril Connolly
L.P. Hartley
Sir Angus Wilson

1974
Ruth Pitter
Lord Clark
Arthur Koestler

1978
Philip Larkin
David Garnett
Sir Stephen Spender

1983
Samuel Beckett
William Golding
Graham Greene

1987
Rosamund Lehmann
Dame Iris Murdoch
Sir Victor Pritchett
The Hon Sir Steven Runciman

1991
Anthony Burgess
Seamus Heaney
Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor
Dame Muriel Spark

1994
Sybille Bedford
V.S. Naipaul
William Trevor

1998
D.J. Enright
Harold Pinter

2001
Charles Causley
Doris Lessing

2004
Sir Michael Holroyd
Sir Tom Stoppard

2007
Michael Frayn
Peter Porter

2012
Brian Friel
Margaret Atwood
Alice Munro