London: London, 1900. Tall thick Octavo. Vol. I: The Letters to Pennant and a Garden Kalendar, xxiii 427 pages, spine titles gilt, front cover emblem gilt, top edge faded gilt, other deckle edges uncut and edges browned. Offsetting to some pages, tissue guards foxed as usual, intermittent foxing throughout but many pages clean, overall condition fair, a little internal wear to back board at spine margin, cover at top and bottom of spine a little bumped. Half Title, Colour Frontispiece, Title, Contents, List of full-page illustrations, List of smaller illustrations, Introduction, Letters to Thomas Pennant, Esq., 4 page foldout facsimile of letter following page 44, Garden-Kalendar for the Years 1752-1771, Introduction to a Garden Kalendar, A Garden Kalendar, Appendix 1, Appendix II.
Vol. II: The Letters to Barrington and the Antiquities, xv 443 pages, spine titles gilt, front cover emblem gilt, top edge faded gilt, other deckle edges uncut and edges browned, cover at top and bottom of spine a little bumped. Offsetting to some pages, tissue guards foxed as usual, intermittent foxing throughout but many pages clean, overall condition fair, 4 page foldout facsimile of letter following page 158 detached. Half Title, Engraved Frontispiece portrait of the Hon. Daines Barrington detached with tissue guard intact, Title, Contents, List of full-page illustrations, List of smaller illustrations, Letters to the Hon. Daines Barrington, The Antiquities of Selborne, More Particulars respecting the Old Family Tortoise, Appendix to the Antiquities, Bibliography, Index, Errata. Fair. Item #183
The Reverend Gilbert White’s immensely popular work, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, has appeared in 300 editions since its first publication in 1789. Its charm importantly resides in the vision it creates of a pre-industrial England. White (1720-1793) was a pioneering ecologist, naturalist, phenologist and ornithologist; his forays in phenology—detailing the year’s first appearances of plants and animals and systematic observations in natural history—have engrossed gardeners and historians of nature for more than two centuries. Gilbert White graduated from Oriel College, Oxford, and held Curacies variously in Wiltshire and Hampshire and at Selborne, where his grandfather had been Vicar. In 1758, on his father’s death, White (who never married) moved into the family home at Selborne.
White compiled his book from letters to Pennant and Barrington and other naturalists. The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne was well received by Darwin, Ruskin, Carlyle, Coleridge, Virginia Woolf and WH Auden, among many others. The History was once claimed to be the fourth most-published book in the English language. Britain’s first bird sanctuary was created by the Selborne Society, which was formed in 1895.