Elizabeth was European Bureau Chief of Life Magazine in the late 80's and early 90's. During that time, she arranged photo stories and interviewed Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, the Dalai Lama, and dozens of other leaders, movie and pop stars, politicians, and royalty, as well as torture victims, political prisoners and criminals. She oversaw Life photographers in the field during the first Gulf War.In 1990, she managed to initiate and co-ordinate the acquisition of Mandela's autobiography for Little Brown, while Mr. Mandela was still in prison. She spent the first three weeks of Mandela's release in his back garden. Prior to her appointment at Life, she was a reporter at the London bureau of Time Magazine for two years. In 1994 Bloomsbury UK and Knopf Canada published her novel, The Monkey Puzzle Tree, which tells the story of the CIA mind control program in Montreal in the 50's and 60's. Liz Calder, a founding director and editor in chief of Bloomsbury, was the book's editor and champion.Nickson has also written for The (London) Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, Tatler, The Sunday Telegraph, Vogue, Femme, Vogue Hommes, The Spectator (UK), Saturday Night, Chatelaine, and Harper's Magazine. In 2005, she began the process of dividing her 30 acre forest in half, covenanting her ravine, building a salmon enhancement project and restoring a meadow once used as a gravel pit. She then built a green house, contracting and project managing the construction herself. The subdivision is now taught in local colleges and universities as a case study in “good green development”.During this period, she wrote A Soft Place to Fall, chronicling her experience and using it as a lens through which to examine the excesses of the conservation movement. She continued writing columns from time to time, for the Globe and Mail Comment Page, and for the Women's Post.