1 December, 2011
2011 posthumous joint-winners: Josephine Hart and Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor
A unique literary award was today revived by two of Britain’s most prestigious, independent literary institutions. The London Library Life in Literature Award, supported by Heywood Hill, recognises those who have made an exceptional contribution to literary life and the enjoyment of books.
The London Library Life in Literature Award, 2011, supported by Heywood Hill, has been awarded jointly to Josephine Hart and Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, both of whom died earlier this year. The 2011 award was chosen by Sir Tom Stoppard, playwright and President of the London Library, the Duke of Devonshire, majority shareholder of Heywood Hill, the famous Mayfair bookshop, Lottie Cole, Development Director of the London Library, and Nicky Dunne, Chairman of Heywood Hill.
The award was announced at The London Library Heywood Hill Christmas Party in the reading room of The London Library where Dominic West, Natascha McElhone and Bill Nighy read passages from T S Eliot, Paddy Leigh Fermor and Martin Amis.
Announcing the award, Sir Tom Stoppard said, ‘Josephine Hart was a magnificent advocate for poetry and the literary arts in general. Paddy Leigh Fermor was the most inspirational travel writer of the twentieth century. Both their lives were glorious examples of precisely the kind of literary spirit this award has been revived to celebrate, and so we chose to make the 2011 award jointly.’
The Duke of Devonshire said, ‘The London Library and Heywood Hill are very special places indeed. Both are devoted to quality and both were much loved by my father who helped support the first incarnation of the Heywood Hill prize and was for many years Vice President of the Library. It gives me enormous pleasure to see his prize coming back to life, thanks to the vision of The London Library and the renaissance taking place at Heywood Hill.’
Nicky Dunne, Chairman of Heywood Hill said, ‘Linking up with The London Library to revive the Heywood Hill prize in our 75th year is exciting news for us. I know our customers will be delighted that the prize is back, and that two of Mayfair’s literary landmarks are coming together to recognise true literary heroes and heroines. It is also a sign of renewed confidence in the future of our famous shop, and the importance of independent literary bookshops and libraries in the cultural life of the country.’