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Cover

The Compleat Angler

Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton
Edited by Marjorie Swann

February 2016

ISBN: 9780198745464

336 pages
Paperback
196x129mm

Oxford World's Classics

Price: £8.99

The Compleat Angler is the most famous work in the literature of sport and a unique celebration of the English countryside. This new edition highlights its celebration of natural history, the environment, conservation, and the power of friendship.

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Description

The Compleat Angler is the most famous work in the literature of sport and a unique celebration of the English countryside. This new edition highlights its celebration of natural history, the environment, conservation, and the power of friendship.

  • A new edition of the great classic of angling literature and the English countryside that celebrates its unique appeal as a fishing manual, work of pastoral literature, portrait of the natural world, and environmental champion
  • The first edition to place The Compleat Angler in the context of ecocriticism and to highlight its focus on social relationships and the promotion of links between the human and natural worlds
  • Based on the authoritative 1676 text, including both the final edition of Walton's Angler published during the author's lifetime, and Charles Cotton's pioneering fly-fishing treatise, first published as Part II of the 1676 edition of The Compleat Angler
  • Includes the original illustrations plus four maps showing the locations visited by Walton's and Cotton's characters
  • Introduction and Notes contextualize the work in the social and political context of the English Civil War, early modern literature, attitudes to the environment and conservation, natural history, and angling techniques
  • Glossary of angling terms helps readers understand 17th-century angling practice

New to this edition

  • Introduction by Marjorie Swann replaces one dating from 1901 by the novelist John Buchan, completely repositioning the work for modern readers in relation to ecocriticism of British literature, environmental history, early modern literature, the English Civil War.
  • Note on the Text (none in current paperback).
  • Select Bibliography (none in current paperback).
  • Fuller Chronology with historical events.
  • 4 maps.
  • Much more comprehensive notes.
  • Glossary of Angling Terms.

About the Author(s)

Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton

Edited by Marjorie Swann, Hendrix College, Arkansas

Izaak Walton (1593-1683) was born in Stafford. He was a biographer of the poet John Donne, and wrote lives of other notable Anglicans, including George Herbert and Richard Hooker. He was a Royalist, and during the Civil War participated in a royalist conspiracy after the battle of Worcester. In The Compleat Angler he expressed his political and religious allegiances while exploring humanity's relationship to the natural world. He is buried in Winchester Cathedral, where he is commemorated by a stained-glass window in the Fishermen's Chapel.

Charles Cotton (1630-87) was a country gentleman, poet, and translator, who built a fishing house for himself and Walton at his birthplace, Beresford Hall in Staffordshire. In 1676, at Walton's invitation, he wrote the second part to The Compleat Angler.

Marjorie Swann, editor, grew up fishing for perch and pike on St Joseph Island, Ontario. She subsequently earned degrees at Queen's University and Oxford. She is the author of Curiosities and Texts: The Culture of Collecting in Early Modern England (2001) and is writing a book about Walton's Angler and its post-seventeenth-century afterlives.

Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Note on the Text
    Select Bibliography
    A Chronology of Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton
    Maps
    THE COMPLEAT ANGLER, PART I, by Izaak Walton
    THE COMPLEAT ANGLER, Part II, by Charles Cotton
    Explanatory Notes
    Glossary of Angling Terms

Reviews

'infused throughout with good fun and good sense' - Simon Redfern, The Independent

'a fascinating snapshot of 17th-century England...far more of a page turner than I ever dared hope' - Trout Fisherman

'splendid introduction' - Land and Business

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