Adam Nicolson

Adam Nicolson was born in 1957, the son of the writer Nigel Nicolson and the grandson of the writers Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson. He grew up at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent and was educated at Eton and Magdalene College Cambridge. He has been writer all his adult life, spending most of his twenties walking through and writing about rural Britain and Europe, before becoming a columnist and feature writer for the Telegraph newspapers. 

His many books have ranged across a wide variety of subjects. A connecting thread between them is the relationship of people to place and the evolving attitudes towards the natural world. He has written about the Somerset Levels and the Wiltshire chalklands, as well as memoirs of the places that mean most to him: Sissinghurst, Perch Hill, the farm in Sussex where he has lived for the last 25 years, and the Shiant Isles in the Hebrides, a tiny archipelago of three wild islands in the Minch between Skye and Lewis. In 1937, Adam’s father bought the islands for £1200—a legacy from his grandmother—and in 1978 gave them to Adam. Their island life, both human and animal, which has entranced Adam for 40 years, formed the basis of his book Sea Room, which describes the last 5,000 years of life on the Shiants, and have also been the jumping-off point for a television series and a book on the fate of the Atlantic seabirds, more than 300,000 of which breed there every summer.

Alongside those explorations of place have been examinations of the Homeric epics and the King James Bible, and he is now writing a book about the year Coleridge and Wordsworth spent together in Somerset. 

Adam is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Society of Antiquaries and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and has made several television radio series on subjects as diverse as 17th-century literacy, Crete, the idea of Arcadia and the story of Britain's 20th-century whalers.

He has three sons and two daughters and is married to Sarah Raven, the garden writer.