A masterpiece of nature writing

This month’s Marshwood Vale Magazine has one of our speakers – nature writer Hannah Bourne-Taylor – pictured on the front cover and an interview inside.

You can pick up copies of the magazine in shops and community outlets in West Dorset, East Devon and South Somerset or you can see it online

Hannah will be in conversation at The Bull Ballroom with Olivia Glazebrook on Thursday 10 November at 12 noon.

Her book, Fledgling, is receiving a great deal of attention. William Boyd describes it as ‘a tremendous achievement’ and Hugh Warwick as a ‘masterpiece of nature writing’. Stephen Moss, whose nature writing has enthralled BridLit audiences, says ‘Fledgling gladdens the heart’.

Hannah grew up in the English countryside, the daughter of a biologist and conservationist. In her late 20s, she found herself living in rural Ghana for her husband’s work. Without a job or purpose of her own, she sank into depression, suffering acute anxiety. 

Fledgling examines the struggles of reshaping an identity when ‘normal’ life has fallen away. It is also a raw and uplifting account of Hannah’s unexpected bond with the land around her, particularly with two wild birds she rescues and raises before releasing back into the wild. 

Brimming with determination and hope, Fledgling is a reminder to us all that nature can provide solace in the most unexpected ways. 

The Observer picked Fledgling for their 30 top summer reads, comparing it to H is for Hawk, describing it as ‘intelligent, poetic and moving.’ Fledgling has been publicly endorsed by BTO’s Juliet Vickery and WWT’s James Robinson both of them declaring Fledgling as a necessary and compelling story to show the deep need and value with connecting to nature.

Since 2019, Hannah has ghost written and edited several books, including working closely with Anne Glenconner on her bestselling Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown

Hannah is now back in the UK, putting down roots in the Oxfordshire countryside with her husband and their two Ghanaian rescue dogs. 

She is writing her second book, based around British wildlife and conservation, to be published by Aurum in 2023. 

She is currently actively involved in UK conservation projects, including The Bumblebee Conservation Trust; The Woodland Trust; People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and Froglife.

  • Ticket sales for this year’s BridLit continue to do well, so if you’ve got your eye on an event then please book it as soon as you can. The event with Hugh Bonneville in conversation with Lord Fellowes at the Electric Palace on Sunday 6 November has already sold out.