British Women Non-Fiction Writers

Throughout history, there have been many British women non-fiction writers who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great British female non-fiction writers such as Princess Michael of Kent, Isabella Beeton, Rose Macaulay, Lisa Jardine, Han Suyin.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite British Women Non-Fiction Writers

 1 Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 27, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 10, 1797

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, advocate of women's rights, and philosopher. Wollstonecraft, who attracted a lot of attention for her unconventional personal relationships, is widely considered a founding feminist philosopher. Although her unorthodoxy initially attracted criticisms, her advocacy of women's equality became increasingly important during the 20th century. Modern-day feminists cite her works and her life as important influences.

 2 Geri Halliwell

Geri Halliwell
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Watford

Geri Halliwell is a British singer-songwriter who achieved international fame as part of the popular girl group, The Spice Girls, which has sold more than 85 million records worldwide. Also a well-known philanthropist, Geri Halliwell has worked closely with the United Nations Population Fund, becoming its goodwill ambassador in 1998. She is widely regarded as a girl power icon.

 3 Lady Colin Campbell

Lady Colin Campbell
5
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Andrew Parish, Jamaica

Jamaican-born British writer, socialite, and TV personality, Lady Colin Campbell, is known for publishing four books about the British royal family, including a biography of Diana, Princess of Wales. While her books about the royal family made her popular, she also faced criticism for some of her claims. She once kindled controversy for supporting sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, on TV.

 4 Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole
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Famous As: Heroine of the Crimean War
Birthdate: November 23, 1805
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: May 14, 1881

Mary Seacole was a British-Jamaican nurse, businesswoman, and healer. She played a major role during the Crimean War, providing aid for wounded servicemen and nursing them back to health. In 1991, Seacole was posthumously honored with the Jamaican Order of Merit. In 2004, she was named the greatest black Briton for her contribution during the war.

 5 Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 22, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dagenham, London, England

Born to musician Derek Pascoe, comedian Sara Pascoe was raised by her mother amid poverty after her parents’ divorce. Initially a tour guide, she later stepped into comedy and never looked back. She is known for shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Twenty Twelve.

 6 Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell
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Famous As: Writer, Diplomat
Birthdate: July 14, 1868
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Washington, United Kingdom
Died: July 12, 1926

Born into a wealthy English family, Gertrude Bell was an explorer at heart and went down in history for her journeys across the Middle East and for helping establish the Hāshimite dynasty in Iraq. Though she graduated in history from Oxford, being a woman, she wasn’t awarded a degree.

 7 Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 29, 1810
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chelsea, England
Died: November 12, 1865
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 8 Princess Michael of Kent

Princess Michael of Kent
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 15, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Karlovy Vary

Princess, Michael of Kent, is one of the members of the British royal family. Princess Michael, who is of Hungarian, Austrian, and German noble descent, worked as an interior designer before shifting her focus towards writing. Having held a long time fascination for cheetahs, Princess Michael serves as a patron for Namibia's Cheetah Conservation Fund

 9 Mary Soames

Mary Soames
3
Famous As: Youngest Child of Winston Churchill
Birthdate: September 15, 1922
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chartwell
Died: May 31, 2014

Mary Soames was a British author and the youngest child of Winston Churchill and Clementine. From 1939 to 1941, Soames worked for several public organizations, such as the Women's Voluntary Service and Red Cross. She then joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1945, she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), in recognition of meritorious military services.

 10 Vera Brittain

Vera Brittain
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 29, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire, England
Died: March 29, 1970

 11 Coleen Nolan

Coleen Nolan
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 12, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Blackpool, England, UK

 12 Ingrid Pitt

Ingrid Pitt
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 21, 1937
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Czestochowa, Poland
Died: November 23, 2010

Ingrid Pitt was a Polish-British actress best remembered for her performance in popular horror films of the 1970s: The Vampire Lovers and Countess Dracula among others. She also had a prolific writing career; apart from publishing novels, Ingrid Pitt also wrote columns for magazines like Shivers.

 13 Kate O'Mara

Kate O'Mara
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 10, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Leicester, Leicestershire, England, UK
Died: March 30, 2014

 14 Frances Burney

Frances Burney
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 13, 1752
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: King’s Lynn, England
Died: January 6, 1840

 15 Deborah Cavendish, dowager duchess of Devonshire

Deborah Cavendish, dowager duchess of Devonshire
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 31, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Asthall Manor, England
Died: September 24, 2014

Deborah Cavendish, the duchess of Devonshire, was the youngest of the popular Mitford sisters. An aristocrat and a socialite, she was one of the rare people who had met both Adolf Hitler and John Kennedy. She played a key role in commercializing Chatsworth Estate and also wrote books on it.

 16 Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll
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Famous As: Horticulturist, Painter, Gardener, Non-fiction writer, Botanist, Architect
Birthdate: November 29, 1843
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: December 8, 1932

Landscape architect Gertrude Jekyll was born into an affluent family and grew up in a refined environment, learning music and traveling. Initially interested in painting, she gave it up to focus on gardening when she developed eyesight problems. She built around 400 gardens and also collaborated with Sir Edwin Lutyens.

 17 Joy Adamson

Joy Adamson
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Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: January 20, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Troppau, Austrian Silesia, Austria-Hungary, now Opava, Czech Republic
Died: January 3, 1980

Best known for her iconic book Born Free, which describes her experiences of raising a lion cub named Elsa, Joy Adamson was a noted Austro-Hungarian wildlife conservationist. She excelled in music and medicine in her younger days and later settled in Kenya with her third husband, conservationist George Adamson.

 18 Allegra Huston

Allegra Huston
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 26, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England, UK

Born in London, to ballerina Enrica Soma and the 2nd Viscount Norwich, Allegra Huston was raised by her mother’s estranged husband, filmmaker John Huston, after her mother’s death. An Oxford alumna, she later penned the critically acclaimed memoir Love Child. She has also written numerous screenplays.

 19 Isabella Beeton

Isabella Beeton
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 12, 1836
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London
Died: February 6, 1865

 20 Edith Mary Pargeter

Edith Mary Pargeter
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 28, 1913
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Horsehay, Shropshire, England
Died: October 14, 1995

 21 Susan Hill

Susan Hill
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 5, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England

 22 Elizabeth Jane Howard

Elizabeth Jane Howard
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 26, 1923
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 2, 2014

 23 Lisa Jardine

Lisa Jardine
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Famous As: Historian, Professor, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: April 12, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oxford
Died: October 25, 2015

 24 Siân Busby

Siân Busby
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 19, 1960
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 4, 2012

 25 Mary Lamb

Mary Lamb
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 3, 1764
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 20, 1847

 26 Jenny Diski

Jenny Diski
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: April 28, 2016

 27 Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 31, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Aminatta Forna is a writer whose novel The Memory of Love won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 2011. Forna was also honored with the prestigious Windham–Campbell Literature Prize in 2014. She also teaches creative writing at many universities and supports several young and aspiring writers. In the 2017 New Year Honours, Forna was appointed OBE for services to literature. 

 28 Elspeth Huxley

Elspeth Huxley
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 23, 1907
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 10, 1997

 29 Sara Coleridge

Sara Coleridge
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 23, 1802
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cumberland, England
Died: May 3, 1852

 30 Sybille Bedford

Sybille Bedford
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Charlottenburg, Germany
Died: February 17, 2006

 31 Gillian Rose

Gillian Rose
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 9, 1995

 32 Brigid Brophy

Brigid Brophy
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 12, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ealing, London, England
Died: August 7, 1995

Author, feminist, and social activist Brigid Brophy mostly dealt with themes such as sexual liberation in her works. One of the first to demand legalization of gay marriage in England, she was also against imposing monogamy. Her Fifty Works of English and American Literature We Could Do Without created furore.

 33 Ann Katharine Mitchell

Ann Katharine Mitchell
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Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: November 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oxford, United Kingdom
Died: May 11, 2020

 34 Catharine Parr Traill

Catharine Parr Traill
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 9, 1802
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Southwark, England
Died: August 29, 1899

Catharine Parr Traill moved from England to Canada after her marriage and soon became one of the greatest authors of children’s and settlers’ literature of her time. Her writings reflected the charm of the Canadian countryside. Her letters to her mother in England were collated in The Backwoods of Canada.

 35 Pamela Hansford Johnson

Pamela Hansford Johnson
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 29, 1912
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 19, 1981

 36 Judith Miller

Judith Miller
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 16, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Galashiels, Scotland

Judith Miller is an American commentator and journalist best known for her work concerning Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction program. Miller has also worked for Fox News and The New York Times. A multi-talented personality, Judith Miller is also renowned for her writing skills; in 2001, she published her book Germs which featured in New York Times bestseller list.

 37 Jane Drew

Jane Drew
1
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: March 24, 1911
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Surrey, England
Died: July 27, 1996

 38 Juliana Berners

Juliana Berners
1
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 1388 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 1460 AD

 39 Helen Maria Williams

Helen Maria Williams
1
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: 1761 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 15, 1827

 40 Elizabeth Jolley

Elizabeth Jolley
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Famous As: Australian author
Birthdate: June 4, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Died: February 13, 2007

Elizabeth Jolley was an English-born Australian author who wrote 15 novels, three non-fiction books, and four short story collections after beginning to write at the age of 53. Jolley, who achieved significant critical acclaim for her work, also taught at Curtin University where she mentored several writers like Tim Winton. She also won several awards like National Book Council Award.

 41 Jane Marcet

Jane Marcet
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 1, 1769
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 28, 1858

 42 Lillian Beckwith

Lillian Beckwith
0
Famous As: Writer best known for her series of semi-autobiographical books set on the Isle of Skye
Birthdate: April 25, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ellesmere Port, England
Died: January 3, 2004

 43 Jill Johnston

Jill Johnston
1
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: May 17, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 18, 2010

 44 Caroline Alexander

Caroline Alexander
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 13, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Unknown

 45 Anne Scott-James

Anne Scott-James
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: April 5, 1913
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 13, 2009

 46 Edna Deane

Edna Deane
1
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: October 15, 1905
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Witsies Hoek, Orange Free State
Died: November 22, 1995

 47 Elizabeth Jenkins

Elizabeth Jenkins
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 31, 1905
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hitchin, England
Died: September 5, 2010

 48 Mitzi Szereto

Mitzi Szereto
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States

 49 Mai Ghoussoub

Mai Ghoussoub
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 2, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
Died: February 17, 2007

Mai Ghoussoub was a Lebanese artist, human rights activist, writer, and publisher. Ghoussoub is credited with co-founding the London-based Saqi publishing house and bookshop. Established in 1979, the bookshop was the first of its kind in London to specialize in Arabic works.

 50 Kim Sears

Kim Sears
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 10, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barcombe

Kim Sears is a British artist known for her portraits, paintings, and other forms of illustrations. She mainly focuses on animals as the subject of her artwork and strives to create awareness about animal rights. She is also involved in philanthropic ventures related to animals. She is married to professional tennis player Andy Murray and has two daughters.