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The compleat angler, or, The contemplative man's recreation : being a discourse of fish and fishing not unworthy the perusal of most anglers / by Izaak Walton; a new edition edited with an introduction by Andrew Lang and illustrated by E. J. Sullivan.

Izaak Walton

RA Collection: Book

Record number




A new edition


London: Published by J.M. Dent and Co., at Aldine House, 1896

Physical Description

[iii]-lviii, [2], 319, [1] pages, 40 unnumbered leaves of plates : illustrations, music, portraits ; 20 cm.

General Note

Edinburgh: T. & A. Constable, Printers to Her Majesty. [Title page verso].
"The text here reprinted is, in the main, that of Sir Harris Nicholas, which was printed from Walton's fifth edition, 1676, the last that was revised by the author." [Page xiv].
The llustrator would like to acknowledge his indebtedness to the beautifully engraved portraits in Major’s edition of 1824; and also to the courtesy of Messrs. Farlow & Co., to whose wonderful flies only scant justice can be done in black and white. Hampstead, August 7, 1896. (p.[xiii]).


Editor’s introduction -- The epistle dedicatory -- The epistle to the reader -- The First Day. Chapter I. A conference betwixt an angler, a falconer, and a hunter, each commending his recreation -- The Second Day. Chapter. II. On the otter and the chub -- The Third Day. Chapter III. How to fish, for and to dress, the chavenderor chub -- Chapter IV. On the nature and breeding of the trout, and how to fish for him -- Chapter V. On the trout -- The Fourth Day. Chapter VI. -- Chapter VI. The umber or grayling -- Chapter VII. The salmon -- Chapter VIII. On the luce or pike -- Chapter IX. On the carp -- Chapter X. On the bream -- Chapter XI. On the tench -- Chapter XII. On the perch -- Chapter XIII. Of the eel, and other fish that want scales -- Chapter XIV. Of the barbel -- Chapter XV. Of the gudgeon, the ruffe, and the bleak -- Chapter XVI. Is of nothing, or of nothing worth -- The Fifth Day. Chapter XVII. Of roach and dace -- Chapter XVIIII. Of the minnow, or penk; loach; bull-head, or Miller’s thumb: and the stickle-bag -- Chapter XIX. Of rivers, and some observations of fish --Chapter XX. Of fish-ponds -- Chapter XXI. -- Notes.
List of illustrations. Izaak Walton, frontispiece -- Madeley Manor -- Tail-piece to epistle dedicatory -- To all readers of this discourse -- Tail-piece to the epistle to the reader -- Entrance to the town of Ware from Amwell End – From an old Drawing -- `You are well overtaken, Gentlemen!’ -- Conrad Gesner -- Doctor Nowel -- Sir Henry Wotton -- To all the lovers of angling -- Amwell Hill -- The gloves of an otter -- Head-piece: on the otter and the chub -- `The sun is just rising’ -- The college of Carthusians -- `There is brave hunting this water-dog’ -- `An honest cleanly hostess’ -- The Anglers’ Inn, near Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire -- `Twenty ballads stuck about the wall’ -- Tail-piece -- Head-piece: The Chavender or chub -- `Yonder is the house’ -- Tail-piece to Chapter III -- Head-pieces: on the nature of the trout, etc -- `I have caught twenty or forty at a standing’ -- `I’ll give you a syllabub’ -- The milk-maid’s song -- Coridon’s oaten pipe -- Tail-piece: `Here is a trout will fix six reasonable bellies’ -- Head-piece: on the trout -- `I think it is best to draw cuts’ -- Coridon’s song -- `Come, Coridon, you are to be my bedfellow’ -- `Good-morrow, good hostess’ -- Ulysses Aldrovandus -- `Come, scholar, come, lay down your rod’ -- A gang of gypsies -- `Bright shines the sun; play, beggars, play’ -- Drumming up carps -- Sir Francis Bacon -- Tail-piece to Chapter V -- Head-piece: the umber or grayling -- Tail-piece to Chapter VI -- Head-piece: the salmon -- Tail-piece to Chapter VII -- Head-piece: on the luce or pike -- `Use him as though you loved him’ -- `Too good for any but anglers, or very honest men’ -- Tail-piece to Chapter VIII -- Sir Richard Baker -- Head-piece: on the carp -- Tail-piece to Chapter IX -- Head-piece: on the bream -- `Go yourself so far from the water-side’ -- `You may take a pipe of tobacco’ -- Tail-piece to Chapter X -- Head-piece: on the tench -- Tail-piece to Chapter XI -- Head-piece: on the perch -- Tail-piece to Chapter XII -- Head-piece: on the eel -- Du Bartas, Camden, Gerard, and Rondelet -- Snigling eels from the bridge -- Tail-piece to Chapter XIII -- Head-piece: `They flock together like sheep’ -- Tail-piece to Chapter XIV -- Dr. Gilbert Sheldon -- Head-piece: of the gudgeon, etc -- Tail-piece to Chapter XV -- Head-piece: `Man’s life is but vain’ -- `There a girl cropping culverkeys and cowslips’ -- The reckoning -- Edmund Waller -- Tail-piece to Chapter XVI -- Head-piece: of roach and dace -- `Follow the plough, and you shall find a white worm’ -- Mr. John Stubs’ shop -- Mr. Margrave’s shop -- Tail-piece to Chapter XVII -- Head-piece: of the minnow, etc -- Tail-piece (Dace) -- Head-piece: of rivers, etc -- Michael Drayton -- Tail-piece (Gudgeon) -- Head-piece: of fish-ponds -- Tail-piece (Pope or Ruffe) -- Head-piece (The Farewell) -- `Let’s now rest ourselves in this sweet shady arbour’


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