Adam Nicolson

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

He is noted for his books Perch Hill, describing his struggles with a small Sussex farm, Sea Room — about the Shiant Isles, a group of uninhabited islands in the HebridesPower and Glory (published in North America as God's Secretaries), on the making of the King James Bible, Men of Honour, on Admiral Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar, Earls of Paradise, an exploration of Arcadianism in 16th and 17th century England, and Sissinghurst: an Unfinished History, which describes his attachment to his family home and his plans to transform the landscape there.

He has presented a television series on Channel 4 about a voyage up the west coast of the British Isles (Atlantic Britain 2004), a series on BBC Radio 3 about Homer's Landscapes (2008) and a television series on BBC4 about Sissinghurst (2009).

Nicolson married Olivia Fane in 1982 and had 3 sons. They divorced in 1992 and Nicolson married Sarah Raven in 1993. [1] He and his second wife have two daughters and now live at Perch Hill Farm[1] in Sussex and at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. Over the last five years, in partnership with the National Trust, he has led a project which aims to transform the 260 acres surrounding the house and garden at Sissinghurst into a productive mixed farm, growing meat, fruit, cereals and vegetables for the National Trust restaurant. [2] He is the son of writer Nigel Nicolson and grandson of the writers Vita Sackville-West and Sir Harold Nicolson, was educated at Eton and Magdalene College, Cambridge and has worked as a journalist and columnist on the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Telegraph. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

He succeeded his cousin David Nicolson, 4th Baron Carnock as 5th Baron Carnock at the end of 2008 but does not use the title.


Awards and recognition

  • 1986Somerset Maugham Award Frontiers
  • 1987 PBFA Topography Prize Wetland (with Patrick Sutherland)
  • 1997 British Press Awards Feature Writer of the Year (shortlist)
  • 1998 British Book Awards Illustrated Book of the Year (shortlist) Restoration
  • 2002 Duff Cooper Prize (shortlist) Sea Room
  • 2004 Royal Society of Literature W.H.Heinemann Prize Power and Glory
  • 2005 Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
  • 2006 Royal United Services Institute Duke of Westminster's Medal for Military Literature (shortlist) Men of Honour


  • 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 (American title: God's Secretaries) (2003)
  • Seamanship (2004)
  • Men of Honour: Trafalgar and the Making of the English Hero (American title: Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty, and the Battle of Trafalgar) (2005)
  • Earls of Paradise (American title: Quarrel with the King) (2008)
  • Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History (2008)
  • Arcadia: The Dream of Perfection in Renaissance England (a revised paperback edition of Earls of Paradise) (2009)

Television series

  • Atlantic Britain 8 x ½ hour Channel 4, 2004
  • Sissinghurst 4 x 1 hour BBC 4 / 8 x ½ hour BBC 2, 2009

Radio series

  • Homer’s Landscapes 3 x 45 mins, BBC Radio 3, 2008
  • A Cretan Spring with Sarah Raven BBC Radio 3, 2009 (forthcoming)


External links

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