Rachel Hewitt is a writer of creative non-fiction. Her books meld history, biography, memoir, nature- and landscape-writing, feminism, literary criticism, and psychology.
She is the author of A Revolution of Feeling: The Decade that Forged the Modern Mind (Granta, 2017), which won a Gladstone’s Library Political Writing Residency; and Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey (Granta, 2010), which won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction and was shortlisted for the Galaxy Non-Fiction Awards, the Scottish Book Awards, the Bristol Festival of Ideas Book Prize and BBC History Magazine‘s Book Prize.
She is currently working on a book, In Her Nature (Chatto & Windus, 2022), about women’s myriad encounters with the natural world. In Her Nature will centre the voices of unsung female naturalists and nature-writers (from ultra-runners and mountaineers, to marine biologists, paleontologists and gardeners). And it will articulate unacknowledged female experiences of nature, from accounts of fear of vulnerability to violence and assault in solitary or remote landscapes; to experiences of running ultra-marathons with a post-partum female body; to the ways in which Victorian female mountaineers wrestled with voluminous clothing; to female nature-writers’ negotiations with the philosophical tradition that aligns femaleness with primitive nature (and maleness with culture).
Rachel writes and reviews for, among others, the Guardian, Telegraph, Financial Times, New Statesman, and TLS, and she has appeared on the BBC’s Coast and Timeshift programmes, as well as numerous programmes on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018. She was also one of the first cohort elected as New Generation Thinkers by the AHRC and BBC Radio 3, and a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow from 2009-12. She will be Gladstone’s Library’s Political Writer in Residence in September 2019.
Rachel is Lecturer in Creative Writing, and Deputy Director of the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts, at Newcastle University. You can access her departmental web-page here. In the past, she’s been Weinrebe Research Fellow in Life-Writing at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, where she helped to run the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing. Prior to that, she held a 3-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at Queen Mary, University of London; and a Research Fellowship at the University of Glamorgan. She completed a PhD in English Literature (on Romanticism and mapping, more or less) at Queen Mary, London; after a M.St in English Studies at Oxford, and an undergraduate degree in English Literature, also at Oxford.