Adam Nicolson

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Adam Nicolson
Adam Nicolson.jpg
Nicolson in September 2012
Born Adam Nicolson
(1957-09-12) September 12, 1957 (age 57)
Bransgore, England
Occupation Writer
Nationality British
Alma mater Magdalene College, Cambridge
Period 1981 to present
Genre history, memoir, place

Adam Nicolson FRSL, FSA (born 12 September 1957) is a British author who has written about history, landscape, great literature and the sea.

He is noted for his books Sea Room (about the Shiant Isles, a group of uninhabited islands in the Hebrides); God's Secretaries: the making of the King James Bible; Men of Honour (about Admiral Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar); Earls of Paradise (an exploration of Arcadianism in 16th and 17th century England); The Smell of Summer Grass (describing his struggles with a small Sussex farm); and Sissinghurst: an Unfinished History (describing his attachment to his family home and his plans to transform the landscape there). His latest book is The Mighty Dead (US title:Why Homer Matters), about the epic Greek poems as a powerful voice both in his own life and in European culture.

Biography[edit]

Adam Nicolson is the son of writer Nigel Nicolson and his wife Philippa Tennyson-d'Eyncourt. He is the grandson of the writers Vita Sackville-West and Sir Harold Nicolson. He was educated at Summer Fields School,[1] Eton College where he was a King's Scholar, and Magdalene College, Cambridge. He has worked as a journalist and columnist on the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Telegraph and writes regularly for National Geographic Magazine and Granta, where he is a contributing editor. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Society of Antiquaries and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

He has made several television series (with Keo Films) and radio series (with Tim Dee, the writer and radio producer) on subjects as diverse as the King James Bible, 17th-century literacy, Crete, Homer, the idea of Arcadia and the untold story of Britain's 20th-century whalers.

Nicolson has three sons, Thomas (born in 1984), William (born 1986) and Ben (born 1988).[2] Since 1992 Nicolson has been married to Sarah Raven. They have two daughters, Rosie (born 1993) and Molly (born 1996) and live at Perch Hill Farm[3] in Sussex.

Between 2005 and 2009, in partnership with the National Trust, Nicolson led a project which transformed the 260 acres (110 ha) surrounding the house and garden at Sissinghurst into a productive mixed farm, growing meat, fruit, cereals and vegetables for the National Trust restaurant.[4]

In December 2008 he succeeded his cousin David Nicolson, 4th Baron Carnock as 5th Baron Carnock.[5]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 1987 PBFA Topography Prize Wetland (with Patrick Sutherland)
  • 2014 Scottish BAFTA (winner, Factual Series) Britain's Whale Hunters

Books[edit]

  • The National Trust Book of Long Walks (1981)
  • Long Walks in France (1983)
  • Frontiers (1985)
  • Wetland (1987)
  • Two Roads to Dodge City (1988) with Nigel Nicolson
  • Prospects of England (1990)
  • Restoration: Rebuilding of Windsor Castle (1997)
  • Regeneration: The Story of the Dome (1999)
  • Perch Hill: A New Life (2000)
  • Mrs Kipling (2001)
  • Sea Room (2001)
  • Power and Glory: the Making of the King James Bible (US edition title: God's Secretaries) (2003) (reissued in 2011 as When God Spoke English)
  • Seamanship (2004)
  • Men of Honour: Trafalgar and the Making of the English Hero (US edition title: Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty, and the Battle of Trafalgar) (2005)
  • Earls of Paradise (US edition title: Quarrel with the King) (2008)
  • Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History (2008/US revised edition 2010)
  • Arcadia: The Dream of Perfection in Renaissance England (a revised paperback edition of Earls of Paradise) (2009)
  • The Smell of Summer Grass (an updated edition of Perch Hill) (2011)
  • The Gentry: Stories of the English (2011)
  • The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters (US edition title: Why Homer Matters) (2014)

Television[edit]

  • Atlantic Britain 8 x ½ hour Channel 4, 2004
  • Sissinghurst 4 x 1 hour BBC 4, 2009
  • When God Spoke English: The Making of the King James Bible 1 hour BBC 4, 2011
  • The Century That Wrote Itself 3 x 1 hour BBC 4, 2013
  • Britain's Whale Hunters 2 x 1 hour BBC 4, 2014

Radio[edit]

  • Homer’s Landscapes 3 x 45 mins, BBC Radio 3, 2008
  • A Cretan Spring 5 x 15 mins, with Sarah Raven, BBC Radio 3, 2009
  • Dark Arcadias 2 x 45 mins, BBC Radio 3, 2011

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Nicolson
Baron Carnock
2008–present
Incumbent