SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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WHITE, Rev. Gilbert.
The Natural History of Selborne; with observations on various parts of nature; and the Naturalist's Calendar.

Edited by E Jesse, with additions and supplementary notes by Sir William Jardine. With an engraved frontispiece of Selborne with forty engravings of birds and animals. A book by English parson-naturalist Gilbert White (1720–1793). It was first published in 1789 by his brother Benjamin. It has been continuously in print since then, with nearly 300 editions up to 2007.

London, Bell & Daldy, York St, Covent Garden, 1872
London, Bell & Daldy, York St, Covent Garden, 1872

Octavo. Half red calf binding with red cloth boards, gilt in rule to boards, raised bands to spine with attractive repeat gilt emblems to panels, lettered green and red leather labels to second and fourth compartments. Marbled edges and endpapers. Corners are slightly rubbed and worn. Some wear and loss to hinges and front cover. Bookseller stamp to front endpaper. Complete with an uncoloured frontispiece, a title page and a full list of illustrations. Index at rear. The spine requires some attention. 40 coloured vignette illustrations. A delightful collection of letters by an English country clergyman about local natural history, originally published in 1789. This book was at once well received by contemporary critics and the public, and continued to be admired by a diverse range of nineteenth and twentieth century literary figures. White's work has been seen as an early contribution to ecology and in particular to phenology. The book has been enjoyed for its charm and apparent simplicity, and the way that it creates a vision of pre-industrial England. Coloured plates in order: 1. Raven. 2. Black Grouse. 3. Fallow Deer. 4. Water Rat. 5. Hoopoe. 6. Bat. 7. Wheat-Ear and Whin-Chat. 8. Mouse. 9. Weasel. 10. Frog. 11. Viper or Adder. 12. Ring-Ousel. 13. Jackdaw. 14. Goatsucker. 15. Swallow. 16. Rat. 17. Cuckoo. 18. Crossbill. 19. Chaffinch. 20. Peacock. 21. Snowy Owl. 22. Osprey of Fishing Hawk. 23. House Martin. 24. Robin or Redbreast. 25. Missel Thrush. 26. Titmouse. 27. The Hog. 28. Worms. 29. Swift. 30. Kite. 31. Sparrow Hawk. 32. Honey Buzzard. 33. Nuthatch. 34. Magpie. 35. Wild Duck or Mallard. 36. Partridges. 37. Corncrakes or Landrails. 38. Hen Harriers. 39. Grey Wagtail. 40. Garden Snail.