Gilbert White was an 18th-century English naturalist. His observations of nature were collected in a book which is now considered a classic of English literature.
White was born in Selborne, Hampshire, England in 1720. He received both a
bachelor's and a master's degree from Oxford. Expected by his family to pursue a career in the church, White was ordained a priest of "The Wakes" parish.
While at The Wakes, White began to carefully observe the nature immediately surrounding him. He recorded his observations carefully and meticulously in letters and diaries. Later, he organized these into what he named his Garden Calendar. In 1789, all his observations were combined into his book The Natural
History and Antiquities of Selborne. This is now thought of as a classic.
White's writing boasts a unique and gentle poetic quality. He carefully observed native animal species, their behavior, and their habitats. His clear and beautiful writing examined all of these aspects of nature, even down to local insects and wildflowers.
Gilbert White died in 1793.