April 18, 2010

Tweets from the past

Hasn't changed much since White's day: the village of Selborne, by Mockney Rebel on Flickr.

Ebert rouses his followers on Twitter:
Has ANYBODY noticed I've been starting each day with Gilbert White's "Natural History of Selborne?"
White's journal entries, as it happens, often make perfect tweets — and now I have another book to buy. From Ebert's link, The Natural History of Selborne:
Gilbert White (1720-1793) was the curate of the village of Selborne in Hampshire, England. He was a fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, a farmer in a very small way, and a passionate gardener. From an early age he was fascinated by nature and recorded his observations, and in later life began to correspond with several prominent ‘natural philosophers’. These letters were eventually edited and compiled in a book, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne (1789). It has never been out of print since its publication and established the genre of nature-writing in English. Gilbert White’s commitment to close observation of the mundane and everyday in nature– what we would now call ‘field study’– was pioneering and inspired Darwin; his influence felt in pastoral English writing from The Mill on the Floss to The Wind in the Willows.
Trivia: one of White's correspondents was the Welsh naturalist Thomas Pennant, first to describe the fisher [Martes pennanti] for science in 1771. I love fishers.

Here's the Penguin Classics edition of Gilbert White's book at Amazon. Honestly, Roger Ebert's Twitter feed is the reason God created the computer.

The Summer-Maker. [Check out these beautiful shots on Flickr.]

Related: Pacific fisher [Martes pennanti], at Sierra Forest Legacy.

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