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WHITE, Gilbert. Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne. - $2,750 | Heritage Book Shop | Rare & Antiquarian Books
With Engraved Plates
WHITE, Gilbert. Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne. in the County of Southampton: With Engravings, and an Appendix. London: Printed by T. Bensley for B. White and Son , 1789.
First edition. Quarto. v, [1, blank], 468 (i.e., 466), [12, index], [1, errata], [1, blank] pp. Folding engraved frontispiece, two engraved title vignettes, and six engraved plates (one folding). Engravings by Peter Mazell and Daniel Lerpinire after drawing by Samuel Grimm.

Bound by Riviere & Son in full olive morocco. Boards ruled in gilt. Spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Marbled endpapers. All edges gilt. A very good copy.

“That White’s Selborne is the only work on natural history which has retained the rank of an English classic is admitted by general acclamation, as well as by competent critics, and numerous have been the attempts to discover the secret of its ever-growing reputation. Scarcely two of them agree, and no explanation whatever offered of the charm which invests it can be accepted as in itself satisfactory. If we grant what is partially true, that it was the first book of its kind to appear in this country, and therefore had no rivals to encounter before its reputation was established, we find that alone insufficient to account for the way in which it is still welcomed by thousands of readers, to many of whom—and this especially applies to its American admirers—scarcely a plant or an animal mentioned in it is familiar, or even known but by name” (D.N.B.).

Grolier, 100 English, 62. Martin, pp. 90-94.

HBS # 64383 $2,750

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