I’ve written about Gilbert White a bit in the past. I’m prepared to accept that he has been a minor scale obsession for me for the best part of nearly eight years now. Just to recall, the best way for us to get to the north, having moved to Gosport was to travel up the A3. Just to the north of Petersfield is the Ham Barn Roundabout. The first time we travelled that route, I recall seeing the brown sign saying “Gilbert White’s House” – Of course, my thought was “Who’s Gilbert White?”
Gilbert White lived in Selborne, he lived from 1720 – 1793. During his time he kept a journal which he published as “The Antiquities and Natural History of Selborne.” The book records observations that “laid the foundations for modern day study of ecology”.
I could have bought the booking at anytime, but I was determined to wait until I had visited the house. I thoroughly enjoyed looking around the house and was very surprised to see an exhibition on Captain Lawrence Oates. He was the member of Capt Scott’s Fatally flawed Antarctic exhibition who as the expedition was reaching its deadly conclusion said, as he leaves the tent; “I’m going for a walk, I may be gone for a while”. Captain Oates’ cousin Robert was an enthusiast of Whites journal, and when Robert found out that Gilbert’s house was on the market, and people were trying to establish a museum, provided the finance and made sure there was space for The Oates collection.
We had afternoon tea in the cafe, it was delicious. They even boxed up the fourth meal when a member of our party couldn’t come.
It goes without saying that I have a copy of the book.