London Library makes Helena Bonham Carter first female president

The London Library has announced Helena Bonham Carter as its first female president in its 181-year history.

The actress, known for the Harry Potter films and The Crown series, took over from English lyricist and author Sir Tim Rice on Tuesday.

Bonham Carter, who has been a library member since 1986, said: “The library is truly a place like no other, inspiring and supporting writers for over 180 years, many of whom have in some way informed my own career and those of actors everywhere.

“The library’s unique resources, history and membership help to connect the literary greats of the past with those of the future, and I am proud to support this incredible and vital establishment.”

The London Library said Bonham Carter’s career links her to past members of the institution.

Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards 2021 – Arrivals – London
Helena Bonham Carter has been a library member since 1986 (Ian West/PA)

She rose to prominence in 1985 by playing Lucy Honeychurch in the film adaptation of the novel A Room With A View, written by former Library vice president E.M. Forster.

Later, Bonham Carter played Miss Havisham in founding member Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations in 2012 and Eudoria Holmes in the Enola Holmes films based on characters created by library member Arthur Conan Doyle.

During its history, social theorist Harriet Martineau, suffragette Christabel Pankhurst and the first woman to qualify in Britain as a physician and surgeon, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, have been members.

Membership has also been taken up by writers Virginia Woolf, Angela Carter, Daphne du Maurier, Muriel Spark and Beryl Bainbridge, and actress Diana Rigg, and artist Vanessa Bell.

Women in Film and TV Awards 2019 – London
Bonham Carter was appointed to the honourary by Library’s Trustees and will now host the library’s Christmas Party (Ian West/PA)

Philip Marshall, director of The London Library said: “With a passion for books and stories, and a long-standing love of the library, Helena is ideally placed to promote this tremendous resource for the creative and curious.”

Bonham Carter was appointed to the honourary position by Library’s Trustees and will now host the library’s Christmas party.

She is also interested in working on the library’s emerging writers and schools programmes.

This ends the five-year term of Sir Tim, who is best known for his work on shows such as Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Andrew Lloyd Webber.