Mr Charles Rangeley-Wilson

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Personal profile

I studied at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, at Oxford University and was Director of Art at Glenalmond College in Perthshire before I began writing in 1998. I write books and magazine features. I’m a photographer. Occasionally I make films.

I have published three books. My most recent – Silt Road published by Chatto and Windus – grew out of my fascination for the relationship between landscape and history: it is the story of the English landscape and a meditation on wilderness and paradise, told as a meandering and eclectic history of a suburban river and a few notable individuals – a Jacobean water-engineer, an 18th-century rakehell, a sanitary inspector – whose lives it shaped.

As one project leads to the next my new book – working title November 1917 – will be a documentary fiction about the impact of one event cascading through a family's century. Like Silt Road it is a book that traces the threads of dependence that shape our lives. This is the subject of my practice-based PhD. 

I have a particular interest in literature (and film and photography) that blends fact and fiction, travelogue, memoir, nature, history. My critical study is based on the writings of WG Sebald, particularly what you might call his documentary fictions, The Emigrants and Austerlitz.


Other work

Over the years I have had many features and photographs published in The Field, Gray's Sporting Journal, The Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian and The Independent and in 2000 I won the Periodical Publishers Association Feature Writer of the Year Award for my features in The Field. I've worked in TV and in 2008 I wrote and presented the critically-acclaimed BBC4 film Fish! - A Japanese Obsession a bizarre, occasionally shocking and frequently comic travelogue exploring the cultural relationship between the Japanese and fish.

I am passionate about conservation, particularly of rivers. I work with WWF, The Norfolk Rivers Trust, The Wild Trout Trust and the Angling Trust, campaigning for the conservation and restoration of English chalk streams, a globally unique type of eco-system.

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