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113839 113839_1 113839_2 113839_3 113839_4 113839_5 113839_6
[WHITE, Gilbert.]

The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne...

in the County of Southampton: with Engravings, and an Appendix.

Availability: In stock

Published: London by T. Bensley; for B. White and Son, 1789

Stock Code: 113839

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition of this classic text of both English natural history and literature, with the armorial bookplate of English naturalist Joseph Whitaker (1850-1932), who as vice-president of the Selborne Society (founded in 1885) commissioned the memorial window to White in St Mary's Church, Selborne, completed in 1920; laid in to this copy are also Whitaker's signed Selborne Society membership ticket, a later postcard of the memorial window, and a recent pamphlet about the church, where White's father was vicar and where White himself is buried. At his home in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire, Whitaker assembled one of the country's largest collection of stuffed birds, and established a deer park which he populated with Japanese deer and emus. He also wrote a number of books on birds, angling, and local architecture. White's book, "the first book which raised natural history into the region of literature" (Ency. Brit.), is arranged into three sequences of letters - those addressed to Pennant and to Barrington forming the natural history portion of the volume, the remainder forming an account of parish antiquities. "White's Natural History of Selborne is open to everyone, for everyone has observed much of what it describes. Writer and reader each share the inheritance of the natural world, and delight in what is given, so that Selborne becomes an expression of universal thanksgiving, treasured by all" (ODNB).

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Quarto (242 x 182 mm). Late 19th-century olive-green half morocco, raised bands between blind rules to spine, second compartment gilt-lettered direct, date to foot gilt, marbled sides ruled in gilt, citron edges.


Engraved vignette title to each section (Natural History & Antiquities), 7 engraved plates, 2 folding, one of which is a panoramic view of Selborne as frontispiece. Complete with the terminal errata leaf. With the usual misprints: p. 292 misnumbered 262,


Recent bookplate of Sheila Ann Day to front free endpaper. Spine slightly faded, light rubbing at intersection of raised bands and front joint, wear to tips and bottom edges of boards, front inner hinge superficially cracked but sound, mild foxing to plates, occasional faint offsetting, a few marginal spots or marks, nevertheless internally crisp and fresh. A very good copy.


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