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The Compleat Angler Hardcover – Illustrated, 31 Aug 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Arcturus Publishing Ltd; Reprint edition (31 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848375867
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848375864
  • Product Dimensions: 25.7 x 22.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 345,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Izaak Walton was an English writer. Best known as the author of The Compleat Angler, he also wrote a number of short biographies that have been collected under the title of Walton's Lives.

Walton was born at Stafford, c. 1594; the traditional '9 August 1593' date is based on a misinterpretation of his will, which he began on 9 August 1683. The register of his baptism gives his father's name as Gervase. His father, who was an innkeeper as well as a landlord of a tavern, died before Izaak was three. His mother then married another innkeeper by the name of Bourne, who would later run the Swan in Stafford.
He settled in London where he began trading as an ironmonger in a small shop in the upper story of Thomas Gresham's Royal Burse or Exchange in Cornhill. In 1614 he had a shop in Fleet Street, two doors west of Chancery Lane in the parish of St Dunstan's. He became verger and churchwarden of the church, and a friend of the vicar, John Donne. He joined the Ironmongers' Company in November 1618.
Walton's first wife was Rachel Floud (married December 1626), a great-great-niece of Archbishop Cranmer. She died in 1640. He soon remarried, to Anne Ken (1646–1662), who appears as the pastoral Kenna of The Angler's Wish; she was a stepsister of Thomas Ken, afterwards bishop of Bath and Wells.
After the Royalist defeat at Marston Moor in 1644, Walton retired from his trade. He went to live just north of his birthplace, at a spot between the town of Stafford and the town of Stone, where he had bought some land edged by a small river. His new land at Shallowford included a farm, and a parcel of land. But by 1650 he was again living in Clerkenwell, London. The first edition of his book The Compleat Angler was published in 1653. His second wife died in 1662, and was buried in Worcester Cathedral, where there is a monument to her memory. One of his daughters married Dr Hawkins, a prebendary of Winchester.
The last forty years of his life were spent visiting eminent clergymen and others who enjoyed fishing, compiling the biographies of people he liked, and collecting information for the Compleat Angler. After 1662 he found a home at Farnham Castle with George Morley, bishop of Winchester, to whom he dedicated his Life of George Herbert and his biography of Richard Hooker. He sometimes visited Charles Cotton in his fishing house on the Dove.

Walton died in his daughter's house at Winchester, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P Howard on 6 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
Whether you are new to 'The Art Of The Angle' [Fishing] or not, this book contains some superb, if a little archaic banter between two friends of the angle. The teacher and the apprentice. Sir Isaac Walton, [Piscator], considered to be 'The Father Of Angling' and Joseph Cotton [Venator] the willing apprentice of the angle. Follow their journey around England as they fish for all species. This is a wonderful journey back in time. Many things that Walton says have been disproved over the few hundred years since the first book was published. However many other things said by him, still hold true today, wonderful reading. My own copy is a 1955 version with an explained thesaurus at the base of each page.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
Not surprisingly, this classic angling text has been continuously in print since first publication. Although serving as a fascinating reflection on the art of angling during the seventeenth century, the text still manages to capture the thrill and excitement that runs through the bloodstream of every modern-day dangler of the angle. All present day anglers, from the most fanatical of bivvy boys to the gentle chalk stream dabbler will gain pleasure and enjoyment from this most seminal of angling texts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 May 2005
Format: Paperback
Walton uses the perspective of an enthusiastic angler to promote a lifestyle of reflectiveness, gentle humor, and appreciation for nature. The book is easy to read, despite being first published in the 1600s.
The Coachwhip Publications reprint edition (ISBN 1930585209) is inexpensive and contains Cotton's "Part 2," written at Walton's request for the fifth published edition of "The Compleat Angler."
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Crown on 22 May 2006
Format: Paperback
This is surely one of the earliest books available to the modern angler. But it's worth distinguishing 'anglers' from 'fishermen'. I take 'anglers' to be people who go after fish for fun or sport or pleasure and 'fishermen' to be people who go after fish for work.

The first thing to be said about Izaak Walton's book, is that it is a play followed by a text book. The second thing, is that it's in a foreign language even to the English, because it was first published in 1653 when the author was 60. A ripe old age in England in those days.

Walton was essentially a biographer. He got paid for it - often commissioned as a good artist might. He wrote 'The Life of Donne' - a poet who even I've heard of. He's alleged to have been a prosperous merchant, but it doesn't really matter. Great angling writers like Richard Walker were engineers. Old school writers like George Skues, were public school educated solicitors in London practices who took the train to the chalk streams of Winchester in Hampshire at weekends, tying flies as they went.

The play concerns three people who meet by chance and get into conversation about their interests. They're travelling at a walk, and so they lighten their journey with convoluted conversation. Before long, it develops into a bit of a competition. Walton is the angler (Piscator). Another gentleman is keen on falconry (Venator) and yet another is keen on hunting (Auceps).

If you tire of 17th century banter, skip forward to the chapters on each particular species of fish, which will ring true immediately. To me it's a revelation that these friendly old fish will still fall for the same tricks as Walton was playing on their ancestors over 350 years ago.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Waltonia on 16 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Isaak Walton's "the Compleat Angler" is one of those books often referred to but seldom found on a home bookshelf. It's taken many years to adorn mine.
It takes the form of a discourse between the Angler and a 'student' where the angler describes everything at need. While this could cause a certain confusion in the reader (it's like reading a script), it is marvellously detailed. Predictably, it is in the language of the 17th century, but this can make for an interesting read.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Memsec on 25 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sir Izaak Walton, a man of the 1600's who enjoyed the "sport" of Angling although in those days they ate the Coarse fish they caught, frowned upon today by the "modern angler". Walton (Piscator) is teaching Joseph Cotton (Venator) the "ART" of angling and his hints and tips are still relevant today. A really good read even if written in the lyrical prose of that earlier time. You find yourself transported back to when the hustle and bustle of modern cities, would have been a figment of the imagination.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric Milsom on 19 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So I have been an angler for over 40 years and have many books on this subject but not this one and as it is set in the very old days and sayings it is interesting to read on a cold winters night in the warm and a nice wine it is good
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edward G Essex on 9 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Written in old English but the morals are relevant today. The whole book is constantly teaching you things that are still applicable today.
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