Readership: Readers interested in natural history and the British countryside, and in the environment, conservation, ecology, pastoral literature; anglers; local historians. Students of
17th-century literature, the early modern period, environmental history of England, the history of angling, and the history of sport.
Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton
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.
"Had I not been required to review it, The Compleat Angler would have probably have been a book I talked about without ever reading. It would have been my loss." - Trout Fisherman
"I have been collecting editions of The Compleat Angler for 30 years. I think Marjorie's new edition is one of the most informative ever printed ... Highly recommended." - The Waltonian
"Much more than a fishing manual, The Complete Angler succeeds through its discursive style, casting calmly and accurately over a wide range of subjects and sources...Walton's prose is always vivid and precise. He hopes that anyone who does not enjoy the books will at least like the pictures of the fish." - The Times Literary
"Attractive new edition this book is infused throughout with good fun and good sense." - Simon Redfern, Independent on Sunday