In Her Element: Women and the Landscape – an anthology

Edited with introductory essay by Jane MacNamee

Absorbed in our tracks, my walking companion and I had been inattentive to the shifting pace of the wind, its colder edge and the gut-green cloud that stacked across the summit of the mountain, pushing in a rage of hail. For a moment all movement of air stopped, the temperature fell rapidly and within minutes the storm was on us in a thick, violent rush. With no time to run for shelter, my companion just ahead of me turned to shout something. I watched his lips move briefly before both of us were lost in the thundering frost of stones. Instinctively I stood still, forcing my boots into the ground against the savage upward riff of the wind, my burning face bitten by thrashing shards of ice. All outline, definition and perspective were smacked out. I had no idea how close I was standing to the edge. Cut off from my bearings, blinded by the dazzling whiteness, the chattering throb of my brain deafened by the screeching wind, I had only a sense of my body suspended, utterly defenceless, but strangely unafraid.

(On the summit of Cnicht in a winter storm – extract from introduction ©Jane MacNamee)

Publisher’s Information:

Mountaineers, amblers, star gazers, cavers, farmers, artists, sailors and ecologists – 20 women from all over Wales recount their deep personal connections to the places, the elements and the wildlife which have shaped their lives – their loves, their joys and losses, their inner and their outer worlds. This anthology finds as its subject the unique bond with and respect for the natural world which comes over time spent in the company of wild things.

Launched at the Hay Festival and serialized on BBC Radio 4.

Published by Honno Welsh Women’s Press 2008, available from your local bookshop or online from



Praise for In Her Element:

Wonderfully descriptive, this is nature writing at its best…’  Iolo Williams

This is what we live for – to find such moments of calm.’     Niall Griffiths

‘This is a precious book, full of memory, observation and insight … its great strength is the celebration of the feminine principle in all its poignant, sometimes humorous, always passionate glory.’ Resurgence & Ecologist

‘An utterly absorbing and inspiring collection of work by women in Wales, which can hardly fail to touch the heart … A book to treasure.’ Walking Wales

‘Elemental prose that beautifully captures the haunting spirit of the Welsh landscape…’
Hidden Europe