Esther Rutter

Esther Rutter is a Scottish non-fiction writer based in Fife. She read English at Oxford University’s Magdalen College and also works as a freelance Project Manager for UNESCO, developing cultural engagement projects in collaboration with Edinburgh’s City of Literature Trust. From 2017-2020 she is Writer in Residence at the University of St. Andrews, within the School of Geography and Sustainable Development. Esther’s brilliant work has earned her both awards and creative grants and, signed by Granta Books, her first book This Golden Fleece was published in 2019. Knitter, natterer, singer, and hill-walker, Esther is a vibrant and key member of Scotland’s literary scene.

Instagram: @thisgoldenfleece

Esther Rutter is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Books by Esther

This Golden Fleece: A Journey Through Britain’s Knitted History

Granta Books, 2019 Over the course of a year, Esther Rutter – who grew up on a sheep farm in Suffolk, and learned to spin, weave and knit as a child – travels the length of the British Isles, to tell the story of wool’s long history here. She unearths fascinating histories of communities whose lives were shaped by wool, from the mill workers of the Border countries to the English market towns built on profits of the wool trade, and the Highland communities cleared for sheep farming; and finds tradition and innovation intermingling in today’s knitwear industries. Along the way, she explores wool’s rich culture by knitting and crafting culturally significant garments from our history – among them gloves, a scarf, a baby blanket, socks and a fisherman’s jumper – reminding us of the value of craft and our intimate relationship with wool. This Golden Fleece is at once a meditation on the craft and history of knitting, and a fascinating exploration of wool’s influence on our landscape, history and culture. Praise for This Golden Fleece “I’ve been captivated by Esther Rutter’s absorbing history of wool and her intimate, inspiring mediation of the craft and history of knitting. She’s an instinctive storyteller, with a brilliant eye for detail, and brings startling new, and forgotten, histories to the surface. I’m thrilled to be welcoming her to the Granta list.” –Bella Lacey of Granta Books ‘You don’t have to be a knitter to enjoy this wondrous book, although as one, I did smile through most of its pages‘ –BBC Countryfile ‘[Rutter] is a likable guide with a good eye for a story… This is antiquarianism with a modern twist‘ –Guardian ‘[Rutter] is a personable companion… [This Golden Fleece has a] fluent narrative, its pace an easy knit-one, purl-one‘ –Mail on Sunday ‘An engaging and highly informative read‘ –Knitting magazine