"The Compleat Angler"


Public Domain"Izaak Walton and his scholar" by American illustrator Louis John Rhead (1857-1926). Wood engraving. - Credit: Louis John Rhead

Be aware that titles to the books and chapters inside this novel are generally significant to full comprehension of the story and at the least lend depth and layers to it for the alert.  In this case, the title of Book One is also the title of a famous treatise written by Izaak Walton (9 August 1593 – 15 December 1683) first published in 1653.  Its complete title was The Compleat Angler: Or, the Contemplative Man's Recreation: Being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing Not Unworthy the Perusal of Most Anglers.  Its first edition featured dialog between, veteran angler Piscator and student Viator while later editions change Viator to hunter Venator and  added falconer Auceps, as foils with each of the three defending their chosen sport.  Replete in advice on method for anglers--the catching and cooking of fish, the use of bait and tying of flies, the best streams and rivers in England, and the benefits on body and soul--presents the joys of fishing as on a par with that of the religious ecstatic.  The book has become a classic, third in sales only to the Bible and The Book of Common Prayer.

Download this Project Gutenberg text file of the The Compleate Angler. 

Read online or download in PDF this one from the Renascence Editions project

Read a Google Books scanned file here.  This is the only one containing an introduction written after Walton's death and presenting better biographical information on him than the Wikipedia article.