Environmental Literature

Gilbert White
Earliest notable Nature writer. Wrote letters to other naturalists, “The Natural Antiquities of Selborne.”
Hector St. John de Crevecoeur
French-born, American farmer. Wrote “Letters from an American Farmer,” and “Sketches of Eighteenth Century America.” Lied about bees coming back to life and snakes fighting.
William Bartram
Wrote “Travels Through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida,” Described snakes and alligators. Shot one in the head just for looking at him funny.
Alexander Wilson
Studied and painted birds in PA, wrote “American Ornithology; or, the Natural History of the Birds of the United States.” Had a thing for woodpeckers.
John Leonard Knapp
Similar to Gilbert White, wrote “The Journal of a Naturalist” about hedgehogs and water shrews because he had nothing better to do.
David Thompson
Explored Canada and western U.S., wrote a “Narrative of His Explorations in Western America” about ermines, martens, wolverines, and the aurora borealis. Apparently obsessed with small mammals.
Dorothy Wordsworth
Sister of William, wrote the most boring journal entries about every useless detail of her mediocre life.
Meriwether Lewis
Famous Lewis and Clark expedition, wrote journal entries. Saved prairie dogs and shot bears.
Charles Waterton
Wrote about the Amazon in “Wanderings in South America, the North-West of the United States, and the Antilles.” Jumped on the back of a Cayman, probably to impress the native ladies.
John James Audubon
Loved birds, but for some unknown reason decided to write about the brutal slaughter of a pair of wolves in “Ornithological Biography.” Also wrote a heart-warming story about an eagle mauling a swan to death.
John Clare
Poor author who failed at using punctuation but used “&” a lot in “The Natural World.” Wrote something about Nightengales but you can’t understand any of his paragraph-long sentences.
George Catlin
Lived among Native Americans, wrote about buffaloes. Foresaw the problems with overhunting and trading alcohol for buffalo.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Famous for writing “Nature,” a collection of incoherent drug-induced rants about society. Inspired Thoreau, Burroughs, Whitman, and Muir.
Charles Darwin
Wrote about his Voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle, Origin of Species, Descent of Man.
Susan Fenimore Cooper
Wrote “Rural Hours,” which is boring.
Henry David Thoreau
Wrote about Concord and Merrimack Rivers, Walden Pond, Walking, the Maine Woods, and also wrote Journals.
Charles Kingsley
Wrote “Glaucus; or, the Wonders of the Shore” about marine worms, sea slugs, and other shore organisms.
Walt Whitman
Famous poet. Wrote about New Jersey and Washington D.C. in “Specimen Days and Collect.” Overrated.
John Wesley Powell
Civil War hero who travelled along Colorado River and wrote about it in “Explorating of the Colorado River of the West and its Tributaries.”
Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain
Wrote about life on the Mississippi in “Life on the Mississippi.”
Celia Thaxter
Wrote about a storm on her island garden in “An Island Garden.”
John Burroughs
As famous as John Muir, wrote “In Mammoth Cave.”
John Muir
Lived in/wrote about Sierra Nevada mountains. Loner and devoutly religious. “A Wind-Storm in the Forests” and “The Water-Ouzel.”
William Henry Hudson
Wrote about feeding and befriending a pig. The only interesting story in this book.
Clarence King
Wrote about Sierra Nevada like Muir. Talked about geology in “Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada.”
Gerard Manley Hopkins
You’d have to be wasted to understand what this guy is rambling on about. Seriously.
Richard Jefferies
Wrote about larks in “Out of Doors in February” and a lack of purpose in nature in “Absence of Design in Nature.”
Mabel Osgood Wright
Wrote about her garden in “Story of a Garden”, fairy-tale quality to her writing. Entirely uninteresting.
Ernest Thompson Seton
Invented “animal fiction writing.” Wrote about dragging the dead body of a female wolf around to trap its mate. Real classy guy.
Gene Stratton Porter
Wrote about trying to capture a certain species of moth so that she could photograph it in “Moths of the Limberlost.”
Mary Austin
Wrote about the desert in “The Land of Little Rain.”
Luther Standing Bear
Oglala Chief that wrote about the Lakato’s opinion of nature.
Edward Thomas
Wrote “Hampshire” and “The End of Summer.” Nothing interesting about him.
Rockwell Kent
Wrote about Greenland in “From N by E.”
Virginia Woolf
Wrote “The Death of the Moth.” Disconnected from nature. Nature as art.
Isak Dinesen
Wrote about farm in Africa in “Out of Africa.”
D. H. Lawrence
Wrote “Flowery Tuscany” about flowers… in Tuscany…
E. L. Grant Watson
Wrote about slugs mating in “Unknown Eros.” Was later surprised to find out that not a single person wanted to know about this subject. Also wrote about waves.
Henry Beston
World War I vet that wrote about living on the shore of Cape Cod.