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The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White
  

The Natural History of Selborne

RRP £8.99

Synopsis

The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White

'I was much entertained last summer with a tame bat, which would take flies out of a person's hand.' Gilbert White's Natural History of Selborne (1789) reveals a world of wonders in nature. Over a period of twenty years White describes in minute detail the behaviour of animals through the changing seasons in the rural Hampshire parish of Selborne. He notes everything from the habits of an eccentric tortoise to the mysteries of bird migration and animal reproduction, with the purpose of inspiring others to observe their own surroundings with the same pleasure and attention. Written as a series of letters, White's book has all the immediacy of an exchange with friends, yet it is crafted with compelling literary skill. His gossipy correspondence has delighted readers from Charles Darwin to Virginia Woolf, and it has been read as a nostalgic evocation of a pastoral vision, a model for local studies of plants and animals, and a precursor to modern ecology. This new edition includes contemporary illustrations, a contextualizing introduction, and an appendix of literary responses to the book. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Reviews

As fresh and conversational in style as correspondence between friends, but elegantly and skilfully executed, it is easy to see why it has inspired writers from Darwin to Virginia Woolf Juanita Coulston, The Lady I don't usually read the Introduction before the book when I read fiction but, in this case, I would definitely recommend it as Secord's Introduction puts White & The Natural History into context. I Prefer Reading


About the Author

Gilbert White was born in 1720 in Selborne in Hampshire and went to Oriel College, Oxford, where he became a Fellow in 1743. He took ordination and held a number of curacies in the vicinity of Selborne before finally becoming permanent curate of his birthplace in 1784, a position he held until his death in 1793. In 1751 he started keeping his 'Garden Kalendar', and later the 'Naturalist's Journal' he kept for 25 years. The Natural History of Selborne is based on his correspondence with two distinguished naturalists, Thomas Pennant and Daines Barrington. Anne Secord is an Affiliated Research Scholar in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge. The focus of her research and writing is on popular natural history in nineteenth-century Britain, and on horticulture, medicine, and consumption in the eighteenth century. She is completing a book that explores social class, observation, and skill in nineteenth-century natural history for the University of Chicago Press.

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Book Info

Publication date

11th February 2016

Author

Gilbert White

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    recommendations

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Format

Paperback
352 pages

Categories

The countryside, country life
Wildlife: general interest
Environmentalist thought & ideology

ISBN

9780198737759

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