Gavin Pretor-Pinney

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Gavin Edmund Pretor-Pinney is a British author,[1] known for his books The Cloudspotter's Guide and The Wavewatcher's Companion.

Early life and education[edit]

Pretor-Pinney is son of Anthony Robert Edmund Pretor-Pinney and Laura Uppercu, daughter of George Winthrop Haight, of Manhattan, observer for the American Bar Association and a specialist in international law.[2] The Pretor-Pinney family were landowners at Somerton, Somerset since the 1800s, descendants of the sugar merchant and Mayor of Bristol Charles Pinney; Anthony Pretor-Pinney had Somerton Erleigh, named for the family's former house on a different part of the estate, built in 1972–3.[3][4]

Pretor-Pinney attended Westminster School, the University of Oxford, and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.


He co-founded the magazine The Idler and founded the Cloud Appreciation Society in 2004.[5] He grew up in West London and now also lives in Somerton, Somerset.[citation needed]

Awards and honours[edit]


Television appearances[edit]

  • Presented on BBC TV: Cloudspotting[9]
  • Appeared on BBC TV: The Secret Life of Waves[10]


  1. ^ a b "The Cloudspotter's Guide". Conville and Walsh.
  2. ^ "George W. Haight". The New York Times. 14 August 1983.
  3. ^ "Somerton Erleigh, Somerton - 1406542 | Historic England".
  4. ^ A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, seventh edition, vol. II, Sir Bernard Burke, Harrison and Sons, 1886, p. 1467
  5. ^ "The joy of cloudspotting: 10 incredible visions in clouds". TED Blog. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Expert in idleness is surprise winner of science book prize", The Independent, 18 November 2011
  7. ^ "The Wavewatcher's Companion".
  8. ^ "Daily Telegraph review". The Daily Telegraph. London. 13 June 2010.
  9. ^ "Cloudspotting". BBC.
  10. ^ "The Secret Life of Waves". BBC.

External links[edit]