Abstract

Abstract:

This article argues that by reclaiming the evidentiary function of anecdote, The Natural History of Selborne (1789) marks an inflection point in the writing of natural history. Gilbert White’s use of anecdote not only invested the form with renewed scientific precision but also invited readers to bring nature home to themselves. His approach paved the way for the late eighteenth-century obsession with anecdote to persist in popular works of Victorian science. For in the decades after White’s book appeared, naturalists and scientific popularizers followed him in making anecdote a fundamental epistemological and affective unit of natural history.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 507-528
Launched on MUSE
2021-02-23
Open Access
No
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