Modern nature writing traces its roots to the works of natural history that were popular in the second half of the 18th century and throughout nature writing essays 19th. American pioneer naturalist who first work was published in 1791.
Gilbert White is regarded by many as England’s first ecologist, and one of those who shaped the modern attitude of respect for nature. The tradition of clerical naturalists predates White and can be traced back to some monastic writings of the Middle Ages, although some argue that their writings about animals and plants cannot be correctly classified as natural history. William Bertram, in 1773, embarked on a four year journey through eight southern American colonies. Bartram made many drawings and took notes on the native flora and fauna, and the native American Indians. Another important early work is A History of British Birds by Thomas Bewick, published in two volumes. Volume 1, “Land Birds”, appeared in 1797. Volume 2, “Water Birds”, appeared in 1804.
The book was effectively the first “field guide” for non-specialists. Some important contemporary figures in Britain include Richard Mabey, Roger Deakin, Mark Cocker, and Oliver Rackham. This Incomparable Land: A Guide to American Nature Writing. English Literature: From Milton to Johnson. Understanding the Environment: Bridging the Disciplinary Divides.