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The Complete Angler 1653   By: (1593-1683)

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The Complete Angler 1653 by Izaak Walton is a timeless and enduring classic that has captivated generations of readers with its charming blend of angling advice, natural history, and philosophical musings. Originally published over four centuries ago, this book remains an essential read for both seasoned anglers and those new to the sport.

Set against the tranquil backdrop of rural England, The Complete Angler takes readers on a journey that is as much about the pleasures of fishing as it is about appreciating the beauty of the natural world. Through the eyes of the main character, Piscator, Walton masterfully intertwines practical angling techniques with vivid descriptions of idyllic landscapes, rivers, and wildlife. His eloquent prose paints a vivid picture, transporting readers to a bygone era where angling was not merely a means of catching fish but a way of connecting with the essence of nature and finding solace in its tranquility.

What sets this book apart from others on the subject is its unique combination of fishing anecdotes, hearty discussions on the art of angling, and heartfelt reflections on life's deeper meanings. Walton seamlessly weaves moral teachings, biblical references, and allegories into the narrative, illustrating how angling can provide a means of knowledge, relaxation, and spiritual fulfillment. This approach gives the book a philosophical depth that transcends its mere instructional purpose and elevates it to the realm of timeless literature.

Walton's extensive knowledge and passion for angling shine through in the meticulous details that he shares throughout the book. From the intricacies of different fishing techniques to the importance of understanding the habits of fish, his expertise is evident on every page. Yet, his writing style is inviting and accessible, making The Complete Angler both educational and entertaining, even for those who have never cast a fishing line.

The book also offers valuable insights into the social and cultural context of seventeenth-century England. Through dialogues between Piscator and his companions, Venator and Auceps, Walton delves into the joys of fishing as a means of relaxation, camaraderie, and escapism from the challenges of everyday life. These interactions provide a glimpse into a world where angling was not just a solitary pursuit but a societal and leisurely activity that brought people together.

While some readers may find the occasional meandering passages and lengthy digressions overwhelming, the overall charm and enduring relevance of The Complete Angler make it a must-read for anyone with an interest in fishing, nature, or the timeless pursuit of tranquility. Walton's ability to capture the essence of angling as an art form, a philosophy, and a way of life is nothing short of remarkable.

In conclusion, The Complete Angler 1653 is a literary masterpiece that has withstood the test of time. Izaak Walton's eloquent prose and captivating storytelling make this book a delightful companion for anyone seeking a deeper connection with nature and an appreciation for the simple joys in life. Whether you are an avid angler or simply enjoy immersing yourself in timeless literature, this book is certain to cast its spell on you.

First Page:

[Spelling, punctuation and capitalization are unchanged except as noted at the end of the text.

Sidenotes are shown inline in [brackets]. The random use of asterisks is as in the original. The 1653 text used brackets to supplement marginal quotation marks. These have been replaced by conventional "quotation marks". A handful of superscripts (w^{th}) have been "unpacked" to the complete word; titles such as "M^r." are written inline (Mr.).]





Being a

Facsimile Reprint of the First Edition published in 1653. With a Preface by




The "first edition" has been a favourite theme for the scorn of those who love it not. "The first edition and the worst!" gibes a modern poet, and many are the true lovers of literature entirely insensitive to the accessory, historical or sentimental, associations of books. The present writer possesses a copy of one of Walton's Lives, that of Bishop Sanderson, with the author's donatory inscription to a friend upon the title page. To keep this in his little library he has undergone willingly many privations, cheerfully faced hunger and cold rather than let it pass from his hand; yet, how often when, tremulously, he has unveiled this treasure to his visitors, how often has it been examined with undilating eyes, and cold, unenvious hearts! Yet so he must confess himself to have looked upon a friend's superb first edition of "Pickwick" though surely not without that measure of interest which all, save the quite unlettered or unintelligent, must feel in seeing the first visible shape of a book of such resounding significance in English literature... Continue reading book >>

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