Sunday, 5 December 2010

Favourite Writings - Gilbert White

Venus, with Jupiter and the Moon 2008 (Bullit Marquez/AP)

Before dawn on these crisp cold mornings Venus has been shining astonishingly brightly, reminding me of Gilbert White's famous line

8th February 1782: 'Venus shadows very strongly, showing the bars of the windows on the floors and walls.'

With Samuel Pepys, Gilbert White is perhaps the most famous of all the keepers of journals. He wrote his Natural History and Antiquities of Selbourne from 1768 to 1793 when he died. 'No literary work has ever recorded more precisely, more sensitively and yet with less pretension the changing face of the countryside with the passing of the seasons'. (John Julius Norwich)

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