2nd May 2021 is the bicentenary of the death of Hester Lynch Piozzi (née Salusbury), writer and focal point of a brilliant literary circle. This post marks the anniversary by discussing a fine letter from Hester to Penelope Pennington from 1820, which the Rylands purchased late last year.
18 July 2020 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Gilbert White, the pioneering naturalist and author of the perennially popular Natural History of Selborne, published in 1788. In the first blog post to celebrate the centenary, I explored Gilbert White’s life, his significance as a proto-environmentalist and scientist, and the charm of his natural-history writing. In this second blog post, I discuss the publication history of The Natural History of Selborne and its evergreen appeal to successive generations of readers.