Emeritus Professor Philip Stott: Gilbert White: the Curate Naturalist of Selborne

Speaker: Emeritus Professor Philip Stott

Philip is Emeritus Professor of Biogeography in the University of London and Vice Chair of the U3AC. He is a natural historian, and, until recently, wrote a monthly column for ‘The Countryman’. He is a lifelong devotee of Gilbert White and his masterpiece,The Natural History of Selborne, which so inspired Charles Darwin among many others.

Synopsis: Published in 1789, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne has appeared in over 300 editions, and is reputedly the 4th most published work after ‘The Bible’, ‘The Complete Works of Shakespeare’, and ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’. In the words of Richard Mabey, his biographer, this epistolary work “… more than any other, has shaped our everyday view of the relations between humans and nature.” In this this lecture, we will examine in depth the life and work of Gilbert White (1720-93), aiming to locate him in his C18th context as a parson-naturalist, a character so well captured in the writings of poets like Goldsmith and Hurdis.


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Event information


31 Jan 2024


2:15 pm


Wednesday Lecture - online and U3AC, Pink room. Places for in person attendance must be pre-booked. Bookings open from 7 days before the lecture.