image white g_natural history of selborne_1789_frontispiece
Image number: RS.17966
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Hermitage at Selborn

Date

1789

Creator

Daniel Lerpinière (b.1730, British), Engraver

After

Samuel Hieronymus Grimm (b.1733, Swiss), Painter

Object type

Library reference

R67731

Material

Technique

Dimensions

height (page): 249mm
width (page): 190mm

Subject

Content object

nature
   > landscape

Description

Landscape with a hermit, holding a staff and carrying a rosary, standing in front of a hermitage, shown as a circular stone building with a conical thatched roof. The scene is from Selborne, Hampshire, England, and is a portrait of Henry White, brother of Gilbert, who would dress as a hermit to entertain guests.

Half-title page from the book The natural history and antiquities of Selborne…by Gilbert White (B. White and Son, London, 1789).

The design incorporates the book’s short title ‘THE NATURAL HISTORY OF SELBORNE.’ It is inscribed below ‘S.H.Grimm del. D. Lerpiniere sculp., and bears the line ‘–where the Hermit hangs his straw-clad cell’, from Gilbert White’s poem ‘The invitation to Selborne’. Greek and Latin inscriptions taken from Homer and Cicero also accompany the illustration.

Gilbert White (1720-1793) British naturalist, communicated several papers to the Royal Society, via Daines Barrington FRS. This, the first edition of The natural history of Selborne, was published by his brother Benjamin White.

Associated place

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