Robert Macfarlane is a best-selling, multi-award-winning author who is internationally renowned for his writing on nature, people and place. His work has been widely adapted for film, music, television, stage and radio.
His first book Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination (2003), won the Guardian First Book Award, The Somerset Maugham Award, and The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and was filmed by the BBC. The Wild Places (2007) won the Boardman-Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature, the Grand Prize at Banff, and the Scottish Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award. The Old Ways (2012) won the Premio ITAS Prize for Mountain Writing, was joint winner of the Dolman Prize for Travel Writing, and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Jan Michalski Prize for World Literature, as well as eight other prizes. Holloway (2013 with Dan Richards and Stanley Donwood), was a Sunday Times bestseller. Landmarks (2015) was a number one bestseller, won the Hay Medal for Prose and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2015.Underland (2019) won the Wainwright Prize and was shortlisted for The Orwell Prize.The Lost Words: A Spell Book (2017), on which he collaborated with Jackie Morris, seeks to get the language of nature back into the mouths and the minds’-eyes of children. It was chosen by the nation as one of its favourite books on the natural world of all time. It won the Hay Festival Book of the Year and the Books Are My Bag Beautiful Book Award. It was followed by a sequel The Lost Spells (2020).
Forthcoming from Hamish Hamilton and WWNorton in 2025, Robert’s next major work of non-fiction Is a River Alive? explores the rights of Nature in imagination and law.
His work has been translated into thirty languages, won prizes around the world, and his books have been adapted for film, stage and music. He has collaborated with many artists, actors and musicians including Radiohead and Stanley Donwood, Willem Dafoe, Jackie Morris, Johnny Flynn and Cosmo Sheldrake. With the Australian director Jennifer Peedom, he made the films River (2021) and Mountain (2017); a feature-length adaptation of Underland is currently filming for cinema release in 2023, directed by Rob Petit.
Robert is a Fellow and Professor of Environmental Humanities at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2017 he was awarded the E.M. Forster Award for Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.