SU7433 : Manuscript of The Natural History of Selborne

taken 4 years ago, near to Selborne, Hampshire, Great Britain

Manuscript of The Natural History of Selborne
Manuscript of The Natural History of Selborne
The full title of Gilbert White's famous book is "The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne" although the antiquities section is often omitted (see shared description below).
Seen here is the original manuscript, preserved at The Wakes - Gilbert's birthplace and latterly his home for many years, and where this book was written.
Gilbert White and the Natural History of Selborne
The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne
Gilbert White's seminal work on Natural History was first published (by Gilbert's brother Benjamin) in 1789 and has never been out of print to this day having gone through a remarkable 300 editions.
The book consists of 44 letters to his friend and fellow naturalist Thomas Pennant, and 66 letters to the Hon. Daines Barrington, a lawyer, antiquary and amateur naturalist.
A third group of letters, numbering 26, concern the local "antiquities" - e.g. palaeontological and archaeological discoveries in the area. This section is often omitted from editions.
Many of the "letters" were never actually sent through the post (none of the "antiquities" ones were) - but were more like extensive diary entries.
The original manuscript of this work can be viewed (through glass) at Gilbert White's house and museum in Selborne - see LinkExternal link for a lot more information.
A "fairly complete transcript" of the work can be read online here LinkExternal link
Gilbert White
Gilbert White was born on 18th July 1720 at The Wakes where his grandfather was the vicar. Being educated firstly at The Holy Ghost School in Basingstoke and by a private tutor in the same town, he then went to Oriel College, Oxford. He became a deacon at the age of 26, and was fully ordained three years later. He became curate of a number of Hampshire and Wiltshire villages including Newton Valence and Farringdon, both near to Selborne. He became the curate of Selborne itself on four separate occasions - why there were breaks in the tenure I don't know. Gilbert moved back into The Wakes on his father's death in 1758 and inherited the property outright five years later. His final tenure as Curate of Selborne commenced in 1784 and he held the post until his death on 26th June 1793, four years after the publication which has ensured his enduring fame.
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SU7433, 320 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 23 May, 2015   (more nearby)
Friday, 12 June, 2015
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Village, Rural settlement 
Place (from Tags)
Person (from Tags)
Gilbert White 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 7408 3367 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:5.8536N 0:56.6069W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 7407 3367
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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