The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne in the County of Southampton - Gilbert White 1900 - Macmillan and Co. Limited, London - Library of English Classics Edition A Bayntun-Riviere bound edition of Gilbert White’s best known work – Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne – his compilation of letters written to Thomas Pennant and Daines Barrington, both leading naturalists of their day, in which he discusses his observations and theories regarding the local flora and fauna in a charming, thoughtful, and immediate style.

One of the most published books in the English language, it ‘delighted both Virginia Woolf and Charles Darwin’ and has never been out of print since its first appearance in 1789.

‘An enthusiastic gardener, Gilbert White (1720-1793) grew many flowers, vegetables and fruits at a time when many new kinds were being introduced. He was thus the first person in the area to grow crops such as potatoes. He experimented, observed and recorded everything to do with his garden. These interests led him to his insights into natural history.

White's original emphasis was on the study of birds. From his pioneering work in bird observation, he expanded into other areas of natural science. He primarily believed in studying birds and other creatures in the field. This was an unusual approach at a time when most naturalists preferred to carry out detailed examinations of dead specimens in their study. White was thus the first to distinguish the willow wren as three species - chiffchaff, willow warbler and wood warbler - largely on the basis of their songs. He was the first to accurately describe the harvest mouse and the noctule bat. White spent much time observing crickets and other small creatures, recognising that all had a role to play.

White's brother Benjamin was a publisher of many volumes on natural history. Benjamin introduced Gilbert to Thomas Pennant (one of the foremost zoologists of the time) and Daines Barrington. Gilbert corresponded with them and other naturalists, such as Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander. Later, Darwin used White's observations as the basis for some of his own work.

White's writings inspired many other naturalists. His legacy as an accurate and systematic recorder of the natural world lives to this day.’

References:
Natural History Museum, web. GrrlScientist, ‘Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White’ The Guardian 2013. Mabey, Gilbert White: A biography of the author of The Natural History of Selborne 1986.
  ‘An enthusiastic gardener, Gilbert White (1720-1793) grew many flowers, vegetables and fruits at a time when many new kinds were being introduced. He was thus the first person in the area to grow crops such as potatoes. He experimented, observed and recorded everything to do with his garden. These interests led him to his insights into natural history.

White's original emphasis was on the study of birds. From his pioneering work in bird observation, he expanded into other areas of natural science. He primarily believed in studying birds and other creatures in the field. This was an unusual approach at a time when most naturalists preferred to carry out detailed examinations of dead specimens in their study. White was thus the first to distinguish the willow wren as three species - chiffchaff, willow warbler and wood warbler - largely on the basis of their songs. He was the first to accurately describe the harvest mouse and the noctule bat. White spent much time observing crickets and other small creatures, recognising that all had a role to play.

White's brother Benjamin was a publisher of many volumes on natural history. Benjamin introduced Gilbert to Thomas Pennant (one of the foremost zoologists of the time) and Daines Barrington. Gilbert corresponded with them and other naturalists, such as Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander. Later, Darwin used White's observations as the basis for some of his own work.

White's writings inspired many other naturalists. His legacy as an accurate and systematic recorder of the natural world lives to this day.’

References:
Natural History Museum, web. GrrlScientist, ‘Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White’ The Guardian 2013. Mabey, Gilbert White: A biography of the author of The Natural History of Selborne 1986.

Large octavo (binding size 22.6x15cm), pp. [4] x 476 [2].
  Bound by Bayntun-Rivière of Bath in three-quarter crimson calf over matching cloth, spine decorated and blocked in gilt, twin green and navu blue morocco title labels lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt others trimmed.   Condition: Fine in very good binding with light rubbing to spine and minor repair to outer hinges.   Ref: 110128   Price: HK$ 1,200