Jonathan Self Background, Career, Books, Family


Who is Jonathan Self?

Jonathan Otter Self (born 11 March 1959 in Hammersmith, London) is a writer and journalist from England. Self grew up in Hampstead, London. Peter Self, a British journalist and academic, was his father. Elaine (born Rosenbloom), his mother, was an American who worked in publishing. Will Self, his brother, is a novelist and broadcaster.



Jonathan Self began his career as an advertising copywriter before launching Self Direct, a direct-marketing agency, in 1982. In 1993, he sold the company.


Self Abuse, Jonathan Self’s autobiography, was published in 2001. According to the Times, Self “is a gifted writer with a fascinating family history to share. He chronicles the failings of a dysfunctional and cruel family, and despite his talent for sardonic one-liners, the tone is one of unrelenting despair.” “The brother of the more famous Will ODs in therapy and splurges the results over 247 pages,” according to a one-line summary of the book in The Guardian’s humour column.

Since then, Jonathan Self has written a number of other books, including The Teenagers Guide to Money, which was named the #5 best investing book for teens by a UK financial education website.

He has frequently contributed to the British press, including Country Life, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Mail on Sunday. In 2009, he co-created “Welcome to Dream Acres,” a Country Life series about landscape gardening, with Arabella Lennox-Boyd.

He co-founded Honey’s, an ethical dog food company that is the subject of one of his books.


Jonathan Self acts as a Special Adviser to the World Land Trust, an environmental charity.

In 2016, he made a Radio 4 Charity Appeal on behalf of Room to Read. John Self is now a trustee of the Rainforest Trust.


Jonathan Self is married. He and his wife Rose have seven children between them.



  • Self Abuse (John Murray, 2001), a memoir
  • The Teenager’s Guide to Money (Quercus, 2007), a personal finance guide for teenagers
  • Honey’s Natural Feeding Handbook for Dogs (Mammoth, 2012), a guide to diets for dogs
  • Emerald (Thames & Hudson, 2013), a guide to the world’s emerald trade
  • Good Money (Head of Zeus, 2017), a guide on how to become an ethical entrepreneur.


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