The Natural History of Selborne
by Gilbert White & Eric Ravilious

A century before darwin and decades before the French Revolution, Gilbert White began his lifelong habit of measuring and observing the world around his Hampshire home.  The resulting book was the famous and seminal text of the natural life around his Hampshire home. Introduced by James Lovelock, and illustrated throughout  with Eric Ravilious woodcuts.

‘Men like him enjoyed the countryside but also tried to understand it through the open and familiar form of science . . . everything from astronomy to zoology inclusively, so that solar and lunar eclipses enthralled them just as much as the appearance of that rare and strangely colourful bird the hoopoe.’  From the new introduction by James Lovelock.

Paperback with flaps| 264 pages| illustrated throughout

Illustrations throughout by Eric Ravilious

Out now


29 in stock (can be backordered)

Gilbert White (1720-1793) was born in his grandfather’s vicarage at Selborne, Hampshire and was educated by the Poet Laureate Thomas Wharton before studying at Oriel College, Oxford. he was awarded his deacon’s orders in 1746, became fully ordained in 1749 and held several curacies in Hampshire and Wiltshire. After his father’s death he returned to ‘The Wakes’, the family home in Selborne, where he began his habit of recording the natural world, keeping journals, publishing articles for the Royal Society  and writing letters to leading  botanists and commentators. The Natural History of Selborne was published in 1789 and has been in print ever since.

James Lovelock is an environmentalist, author and chemist, best known for his invention of the ‘electron capture detector’ and as the pioneer of Gaia Theory. He is the author of over 200 scientific papers and several books. In 1974 he became and elected fellow of the Royal Society, in 2003 he was appointed Companion of Honour, and in 2006 received the Wollaston Medal, the highest award of the Geological Society.

Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) was born in Acton, north-west London. Educated at Eastbourne School of Art and the Royal College of Art, where he studied under Paul Nash and befriended Edward Bawden, he was an accomplished watercolour artists, muralist, print-maker and wood-engraver. He was an official war artist during the Second World War, and was appointed Captain in the Royal Marines. He died, aged 39, returning from an air-sea rescue mission off Reykavik, Iceland.