Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10.30AM to 5PM & Bank Holidays

Botany, Birds, and Books: The Literary Gilbert White

PLEASE NOTE: This talk will now take place at the House not at the FSC.

Gilbert White is well known as a naturalist, birder, and gardener who transformed the nation’s relationship with the natural world around them, but he achieved his success because he was a supremely able writer. As well as its lucid writing style, The Natural History of Selborne is peppered with allusions to ancient and modern literature and even includes some of White’s own poetry. In this talk, Professor Brycchan Carey will explore White’s literary style and literary connections show how White, far from being a secluded country parson, was at the centre of the eighteenth-century literary world.

Brycchan Carey is Professor of English Literature at Northumbria University, Chair of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, and Vice-President of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Doors Open 6:30 Talk begins 7pm.


  • Start Date: 29 Nov 18
  • End Date: 29 Nov 18
  • Please note: tickets purchased from us are non refundable.

Gilbert Whites House

Gilbert White was aged 7 or 8 when the White family moved from the Vicarage on Selborne’s Plestor, to this house, called ‘The Wakes’ (named after the Wake family who had lived here previously). At that time the property would have been no more than a ‘two up, two down’  but over the subsequent years lots of extensions and additions have been made, creating the long sizeable house you see today.

The rooms have been restored following descriptions in White’s own correspondence and include a chair he used at Oriel College, Oxford (loaned from the College), items of contemporary furniture, family portraits and bed hangings embroidered for him by his aunts.

On display is the original manuscript of his book, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, which was purchased with generous help from English Heritage and others.

Learn more