The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White
"The Natural History of Selborne" (1789) is the distillation of a lifetime of observation, and ranges far beyond White's immediate neighbourhood. His main aims were to induce readers to pay more attention to the wonders around them, and to advance their knowledge of the variety of life: his success has made this book a classic. White's commitment to "life and manners" and the grace and immediacy of his style raise his work above the reports of other natural historians. While aware of the doubts and upheavals occurring in contemporary Europe and America, he upheld a belief in the strength of nature to withstand disaster, and celebrated the endeavour of human and animal communities to survive. This new edition includes fresh information about White's methods of working and the tradition in which he wrote, and provides comprehensive explanatory and biographical information.