Nature writing is nonfiction or fiction prose or poetry about the natural environment. Nature writing encompasses a wide variety of works, ranging from those that place primary emphasis on natural history facts (such as field guides) to those in which philosophical interpretation predominate. It includes natural history essays, poetry, essays of solitude or escape, as well as travel and adventure writing.
Nature writing often draws heavily on scientific information and facts about the natural world; at the same time, it is frequently written in the first person and incorporates personal observations of and philosophical reflections upon nature.
Modern nature writing traces its roots to the works of natural history that were popular in the second half of the 18th century and throughout the 19th. An important early figure was the "parson-naturalist" Gilbert White (1720 – 1793), a pioneering English naturalist and ornithologist. He is best known for his Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne (1789).
William Bartram (1739 – 1823) is a significant early American pioneer naturalist who first work was published in 1791.