Izaak Walton 1593-1683
English biographer, nonfiction writer, and poet.
Walton was one of the most popular writers of the seventeenth century, and has garnered readership and critical attention to the present day. His most prominent work, The Compleat Angler, has been printed in more than 300 editions since its first publication in 1653, and has been translated into several languages. On one level, The Compleat Angler is a fictional account of a fishing trip and an instruction manual on the finer points of fishing, but Walton also uses his work as a treatise on Anglican and moral philosophy, and to advocate a simple rural life. Scholars also credit Walton with writing the first biography of literary merit, The Life of John Donne, in 1640. His series of five biographies on religious leaders of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, collectively referred to as The Lives, was widely hailed by his contemporaries, and has significantly influenced the scope and style of biography as a genre.
Walton was born at Stafford on August 9, 1593, to Jervis Walton, an alehouse-keeper, and his wife, Anne. Although few details are available regarding Walton's early life, it is believed that he attended the Edward VI Grammar School in Stafford and later moved to London where he served as an apprentice to his uncle, a linen draper. By 1624 Walton had established himself as a cloth merchant with a shop located in St. Dunstan's parish. Despite his lack of formal education, Walton developed an interest in literature and befriended several literary figures, including Ben Jonson and John Donne. Walton was also well-connected in clerical circles, and in 1626 married Rachel Floud, a great-grandniece of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. Their union lasted fourteen years and resulted in seven children, all of whom died before reaching adulthood. During this time, Sir Henry Wotton asked Walton to assist him in gathering materials for a biography of Donne. Wotton, however, died in 1639 and Walton took on the task of writing the piece himself. In 1640, the year of his wife's death, Walton published this work, “The Life and Death of Dr Donne, Late Deane of St Pauls London,” as a preface to Donne's collected sermons. In 1646 he married Anne Ken, the half-sister of Bishop Thomas Ken. The couple had three children, two of whom survived to adulthood. A staunch Anglican and a royalist, Walton continued his business in London until the Civil War turned in favor of the Puritans. During Oliver Cromwell's time in power Walton published “The Life of Sir Henry Wotton” in Reliquiae Wottonianae (1651), a collection of Wotton's writings, and the first edition of The Compleat Angler. Following the Restoration, Walton served as the steward of Dr. George Morley, Bishop of Worcester from 1660 to 1662. Walton's second wife died in 1662, and Walton followed Morley to Winchester. It is not known if he continued to act as Morley's steward but he remained on favorable terms with the bishop. In his later years Walton published three more biographies: The Life of Mr. Richard Hooker (1665), The Life of Mr. George Herbert (1670), and The Life of Dr. Sanderson (1678). Walton died in December 1683 and was buried in Winchester Cathedral.
Walton's The Compleat Angler, a treatise in dialogue form, explores the author's favorite pastime while at the same time concerning itself with larger questions of philosophy and religion. By far Walton's best known work, The Compleat Angler is presented as a conversation between Piscator, an angler, who instructs Venator, a hunter, in the joys and art of fishing, as well as the virtues of rural life and Anglican philosophy. Piscator explains the habits and biology of different kinds of fish and details the best ways of catching and dressing them. He also explains the characteristics of many of the more notable rivers and fish-ponds in England. Interspersed throughout the work are lines of verse and songs that Piscator and Venator recite to one another as they discuss angling. Critics regard “The Life and Death of Dr Donne” as the first biography of literary merit and credit Walton with revolutionizing the biography form, establishing standards that still hold regarding thoroughness of research and the self-effacement of the narrator. Walton employed the same techniques in subsequent works examining the lives of notable Anglican leaders George Herbert, Richard Hooker, Henry Wotton, and Robert Sanderson, referred to collectively as The Lives. Walton infused his writing with respect and admiration for his subject to such a degree that it shaped the material he included and the style in which he wrote. Walton's goal was to depict these men's lives as testimonies to piousness, devotion, and the Anglican faith. He was uninterested in providing a comprehensive account of each subject's life, and in fact, Walton altered quotes, revised events and eliminated material that contradicted his theses. Though many of the dates and facts are inaccurate, the popularity of these works has been significant and sustained.
Walton has enjoyed popular success and critical praise since the first publication of his works. During his lifetime, “The Life and Death of Dr Donne” was issued several times as a separate publication, and his other four biographies enjoyed similar success. In the eighteenth century Samuel Johnson pronounced The Lives one of his favorite books. Although critics in the nineteenth century began questioning the historical and factual accuracy of the biographies, recent scholars have defended the works. William H. Epstein and others have stressed the lasting influence of The Lives and have credited Walton with establishing techniques and practices in biographical writing that would be employed for the next three hundred years. Others have maintained that The Lives should not be held to the strict standards of academic rigor applied to today's historical studies, and have argued that Walton's intention in these works was to praise his subjects and to fashion their life experiences into an endorsement of moral living and piety. It was Walton's evocation of these virtues in his subjects that William Wordsworth extolled in his poem “Walton's Book of Lives.” In the sonnet “Written Upon a Blank Leaf in ‘The Complete Angler’” Wordsworth similarly praised Walton's depiction of the morally beneficial influence of nature in his most famous work. Others in the nineteenth century expressed similar admiration for The Compleat Angler, even as they began to deprecate Walton's biographical works. Charles Lamb urged Samuel Taylor Coleridge to read The Compleat Angler, lauding its “innocence, purity, and simplicity of heart.” Critical regard for The Compleat Angler has steadily risen, and the prevailing view of Walton as a simple, honest, and naive writer—which emerged even during his own lifetime, in part as a result of his lack of formal education—has given way to a view of Walton as a conscious artist whose works reveal a purpose, skill and wit far greater than previously acknowledged.
“The Life and Death of Dr Donne, Late Deane of St Pauls London” [published in LXXX Sermons preached by that learned and reverend divine, Iohn Donne, Dr in Divinity, Late Deane of the Cathedrall Church of S. Pauls London] (biography) 1640
“The Life of Sir Henry Wotton” [published in Reliquiae Wottonianae] (biography) 1651
The Compleat Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation. Being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing, Not unworthy the perusal of most Anglers (treatise) 1653
The Life of Mr. Rich. Hooker, The Author of those Learned Books of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (biography) 1665
The Life of Mr. George Herbert (biography) 1670
The Lives of Dr. John Donne, Sir Henry Wotton, Mr. Richard Hooker, Mr. George Herbert. To which are added some Letters written by Mr. George Herbert, at his being in Cambridge: With others to his Mother, the Lady Magdalen Herbert, written by John Donne, afterwards Dean of St. Pauls (biographies) 1670
The Life of Dr. Sanderson, Late Bishop of Lincoln. To which is added, some Short Tracts or Cases of Conscience, written by the said Bishop (biography) 1678
Love and Truth: in two modest and peaceable letters, concerning the distempers of the present times. Written from a quiet and conformable Citizen of London, to two busie and factious...
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SOURCE: Marston, R. B. “Introductory.” In Walton and Some Earlier Writers on Fish and Fishing. London: Elliot Stock, 1894.
[In the essay which follows, Marston relates his affection for Walton's Compleat Angler and considers its importance among texts about fishing.]
Have you read The Compleat Angler? If you have, and are also acquainted with the Author's other writings, then these pages may perchance refresh your remembrance of them; but their object and the hope of the writer is to make Walton and a few earlier angling writers known to some to whom they are only names.
Looking back through a life, a never-failing delight of which has been the devouring of books, I confess that not many have had such an enduring charm for me as those of Walton. His Compleat Angler is the first book I can remember reading. I have the edition before me now, one of those productions of the Chiswick Press, published in 1863 by Bell & Daldy and Sampson Low & Co.; and though I have seen nearly all of the hundred or more reprints of the Angler, and possess most of the best, this little half-bound, well-worn edition will always be among those most prized.
I must have been born with a love of angling. I certainly caught Prussian carp in an old pond near to Craven Arms in Shropshire long before I could read. As a youngster of ten years I remember one wet...
(The entire section is 2146 words.)
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SOURCE: Oliver, H. J. “Izaak Walton as Author of Love and Truth and Thealma and Clearchus,” in Review of English Studies, 21, No. 97 (January, 1949): 24-37.
[In the following essay, Oliver considers the evidence that Walton wrote Love and Truth and Thealma and Clearchus, arguing that similarities in style and language between these works and his known writings suggest Walton is the author.]
The attribution to Izaak Walton of the tract Love and Truth and the narrative poem Thealma and Clearchus has been common enough in the history of Walton scholarship; the weight of authority is, if anything, for his authorship of the former, against his authorship of the latter. But there is nothing like general agreement on any of the questions involved, and it would seem to be time to assemble the known evidence and add whatever one can that is new.
In doing this it is important, I believe, to put resolutely on one side any presumption against Walton's authorship of any work not published over his name. Too often Love and Truth and Thealma and Clearchus have been discussed in terms such as those of Nicolas, speaking of Love and Truth:
There is a fictitious plan in the publication which is inconsistent with Walton's scrupulous regard for veracity, and straightforward adherence to fact …...
(The entire section is 6130 words.)
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SOURCE: Bottrall, Margaret. “Izaak Walton.” In Izaak Walton, pp. 7-35. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1955.
[In the following excerpt, Bottrall offers an overview of Walton s work, praising him as a writer with continual appeal.]
The mention of Izaak Walton's name immediately suggests The Compleat Angler, the contemplative man's recreation, the peaceful fisherman, book in hand, depicted in the memorial window in Winchester Cathedral. It seems almost treasonable to allege that the extraordinary popularity of the book has resulted in a distorted picture of its author; but extraordinary is the mildest word that can be applied to its reputation. Its real vogue only began when Walton had been in his grave for well over a hundred years. True, it was well received, and was re-issued, with various alterations and additions, four times during his life; but it then had to wait more than seventy years to be rescued from obscurity, and it was not till after 1823 that the spate of re-issues began in earnest. Whereas in the eighteenth century there were only ten editions of the book, in the nineteenth there were a hundred and fifty-nine, and in the first half of the twentieth century more than a hundred reprints have appeared. The Compleat Angler is more than a minor classic; in its way it is a best-seller. The ingredients of the book—its combination of practical...
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SOURCE: Goldman, Marcus Selden. “Izaak Walton and The Arte of Angling, 1577.” In Studies in Honor of T. W. Baldwin, edited by Don Cameron Allen, pp. 185-204. Urbana, III.: University of Illinois Press, 1958.
[In the essay below, Goldman investigates similarities between the annonymous The Arte of Angling and Walton's The Compleat Angler.]
The Rev. Dr. George Washington Bethune, its first American editor, was, beyond question, one of the wisest and most learned of the many wise and learned men who, in the course of three centuries, have provided Walton's masterpiece with appreciative commentary and elucidative notes. Everywhere evident, his wisdom and learning are nowhere more impressive than in those pages of the “Bibliographical Preface” to the first American Edition1 in which he deals with the sources, known, putative, and merely possible, of the The Compleat Angler. Equipped as he was with a perfect command of the classical languages and a knowledge of philosophy and theology which included remarkable familiarity with the speculative, dogmatic, devotional, and controversial writings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, he was ideally suited for the task which he undertook.
It is plain that Bethune in his editorial work, as Walton in his creative, “made a recreation of a recreation” and, inviting the reader to share his joy in “this...
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SOURCE: Novarr, David. “The ‘Almost Incredible Story’ of George Herbert,” in The Making of Walton's Lives, pp. 301-61. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1958.
[In the following excerpt, Novarr develops the thesis that due to timing and subject matter, Walton was free to express his beliefs on religion to their fullest in The Life of Herbert.]
The Life of Herbert, perhaps even more than the Life of Donne, was a labor of love. The Life of Hooker was in many ways Walton's most arduous biographical task; the Life of Herbert conformed most closely to the desires of his heart. It appeared early in 1670, and, like the Life of Hooker, it was published independently. Within two months and without textual changes by Walton, it was printed a second time in the collected Lives.1
Its appearance was the culmination of Walton's long interest in Herbert. He had quoted from Herbert's verses as early as the Compleat Angler of 1653. Piscator would give a sweet conclusion to his discourse on the active and contemplative merits of angling and to his short contemplation of rivers by citing some lines from “that holy Poet Mr. George Herbert his Divine Contemplation on Gods providence.”2 Piscator's twelve lines are a pretty, self-contained unit, made by citing three of Herbert's thirty-eight stanzas called...
(The entire section is 26348 words.)
SOURCE: Bald, R. C. “Historical Doubts Respecting Walton's Life of Donne.” In Essays in English Literature from the Renaissance to the Victorian Age, edited by Millar MacLure and F. W. Watt, pp. 69-84. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1964.
[In the essay below, Bald catalogs the historical inaccuracies and inconsistencies in Walton's Life of Donne.]
Sir Thomas More's History of King Richard the Third is a classic. It can be read with pleasure more than once, and one's interest in the presentation of the figure of Richard is independent of the fact that for over two hundred years doubts have been cast on More's veracity. The book, it has been alleged, is a piece of political propaganda designed to aid the cause of a conqueror by utterly discrediting the line he had overthrown. More's literary art, however, has made it almost irrelevant to ask whether his historical facts are true or false. Some of the same things can be said of Walton's Life of Donne. It too has the gift of conferring repeated pleasure, and that pleasure is independent of the truth or falsehood of the facts related. In its way it can also be called propaganda—in the same sense as a religious tract is propaganda; it seeks to inculcate the religious virtues of penitence and piety. For this very reason, perhaps, there has not as yet been any systematic attempt to estimate the degree of falsification,...
(The entire section is 6609 words.)
SOURCE: Lein, Clayton D. “Art and Structure in Walton's Life of Mr. George Herbert,” in University of Toronto Quarterly 46, No. 2 (Winter, 1976): 162-76.
[In the essay below, Lein posits that The Life of Mr. George Herbert represents the pinnacle of Walton's biographical writing, building upon his earlier foundation and adding unique elements of style which reflect Walton's view of Herbert.]
When Izaak Walton presented his Life of Mr. George Herbert as a ‘Free-will-offering,’ he provided a clue to its character. The other biographies, he would have us believe, he had been compelled to write, some to honour the obligations of friendship, others to comply with the entreaties of men he respected and revered. All the early biographies were thus biographies of duty. But here was one of inner compulsion, a ‘free-will offering’ in the full sense of the term—an unsolicited giving to the church. And for this offering Walton mustered all his art, as if to demonstrate what biography in his hands could now achieve. He still worried about truth and fidelity to fact; but no longer did he worry about his ‘artless pen.’ When he wrote the Life of Herbert he knew he was a craftsman. As a result, the final version of this Life, so natural in presentation, has a subtlety of artistic manipulation far exceeding any of his earlier efforts. To appreciate its perfection,...
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SOURCE: Nardo, Anna K. “A ‘recreation of a recreation’: Reading The Compleat Angler,” in South Atlantic Quarterly, 79, No. 3 (Summer, 1980): 302-11.
[In the essay below, Nardo explores the reasons for The Complete Angler's popularity, citing Walton's recreation of an imaginary, relaxing fishing trip and praising it as an exercise in the “unity of vision.”]
Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler is a puzzling book on two counts: its curious form and its immense and lasting popularity. Part fishing manual (detailing, for example, the feeding habits of the “Tyrant” Pike, the correct methods for scouring “gentles,” and the best recipe for removing the “waterish” taste of the Chub); part meditation on the quiet life (including both a sermon on thankfulness and the “Come live with me” lyrics of Marlowe, Raleigh, and Donne); and part fictional account of a fishing trip (describing a May Day morning on which a fisherman, Piscator, sets out from London; his meeting with a huntsman, Venator; their five days of angling; and return to Tottenham High-Cross)—The Compleat Angler seems to be neither fish nor fowl. Indeed, confusion about its form and intent has resulted in misdirected criticism and praise. Richard Franck, a Scots Presbyterian who had been a New Model Army soldier and became a modern angler, criticized Walton for stuffing “his book with morals from...
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SOURCE: Granqvist, Raoul. “Izaak Walton's Lives in the Nineteenth and the Early Twentieth Century: A Study of a Cult Object,” in Studia Neophilologica, 54, No. 2 (1982): 247-61.
[In the essay below, Granqvist traces the way in which 19th-century intellectual trends shaped the interpretation of Walton and his writings.]
Biography in the early nineteenth century was a thriving business. The improved printing facilities, the extension of literacy, and the Sunday school movement were factors that originated and inspired mass production of biographies. The attention paid to biography was widespread and generous. Obscure semi-celebrities, poets, smugglers, peddlers, maniacs, curates, (even animals) were commemorated side by side with famous men such as Pitt the Elder, Wesley, Voltaire, Goldsmith. The purpose behind all this was to commend lives that were thought to be worthy of emulation and condemn unprofitable lives. Much of this literature is worthless; some of it repugnant. Joseph W. Reed says, however, that “it was not quite the Dark Ages of biography either. Much was done in the exhaustive publication of documents and correspondences without which the twentieth century biographer would be lost.”1 Compilers set out to sack old biographies for materials to fill biographical dictionaries and family libraries which, in these days of encyclomania, were immensely popular. And...
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SOURCE: Low, Anthony. “The Compleat Angler's ‘Baite’; or, The Subverter Subverted,” in John Donne Journal 4, No. 1 (1985): 1-12.
[In the following essay, Low posits that in The Compleat Angler, Walton provides an alternate reading of John Donne's poem “The Baite.”]
Donne's aversion to pastoral landscapes and to country matters in general is well known.1 His one curious essay into pastoral, “The Baite,” has been variously interpreted: sometimes as a heavy-handed failure at conventional pastoral, sometimes as a light-hearted parody of the mode, and sometimes as an anatomy of love to which the pastoral elements are more or less accidental. Two scholars have suggested that Donne departed from his Marlovian original in a direction suggested to him by Sannazaro's Piscatorial Eclogues.2 Of course, the truth is that most of Donne's critics, and especially the major book-length studies, have simply ignored the poem. Evidently, it has not seemed worthy of much critical attention except from a few rather special points of view. Indeed, there is somewhat painful evidence that—much like the poems of Edgar Allen Poe—“The Baite” has been disproportionately attractive to translators and those who are working with non-native English speakers, as if it read better when not read too closely.3 It seems fair to say that in this century the poem has not...
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SOURCE: Epstein, William H. “Altering the Life-Text: Walton's Life of Donne.” In Recognizing Biography, pp. 13-33. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987.
[In the following excerpt, Epstein analyzes the structure of Walton's Life of Donne, pointing out the author's unique contributions to the biography genre.]
“Being speechless, and seeing heaven by that illumination by which he saw it; … he closed his own eyes; and then disposed his hands and body into such a posture as required not the least alteration by those that came to shroud him.”
(Walton's Life of Donne)
In a letter crucially situated in the narrative of Izaak Walton's Life of Donne (generally considered the first, influential English biography of a literary figure that is itself of literary merit)1 the biographer induces his biographical subject to “bemoan himself”: “and yet, I would fain be or do something; … for, to chuse is to do; but, to be no part of any body, is as to be nothing.”2 “Any body,” of course, is a characteristically complex Donnean pun suggesting his estrangement not only from himself and his family but also from what, later in this letter, he terms, variously, “business,” “occupation,” and...
(The entire section is 11973 words.)
SOURCE: Radcliffe, David Hill. “‘Study to Be Quiet’: Genre and Politics in Izaak Walton's Compleat Angler,” in English Literary Renaissance, 22, No. 1 (Winter, 1992): 95-111.
[In the essay below, Radcliffe examines the issues of discourse, inclusion, and community in The Compleat Angler.]
Izaak Walton's famous discourse on angling and devotion exhibits the values of inclusiveness and heterogeneity rather than exclusion and methodical rigor. These are not values generally associated with discursive formations, nor is the “brotherhood of anglers” typical of what recent criticism regards as a discursive community. Walton's discourse can thus serve as a counter-example to accounts of literary and social formations which identify discursive formations with hegemonic structures. While any text can represent current thought about “discourse” only to a limited extent, Stanley Fish's recent discussion, “Being Interdisciplinary Is So Very Hard to Do,” seems exceptional primarily in the rigor with which he pursues the logic of incommensurability and contestation to its most extreme conclusions. One is that disciplinary communities cannot respond to “questions one might put from the outside, questions like (for teaching) ‘why is it that you want your students to learn?’ or (for criminal law) ‘why should we be interested in the issue of responsibility at all?’ or (for history)...
(The entire section is 6803 words.)
SOURCE: Marshall, W. Gerald. “Time in Walton's Lives,” in Studies in English Literature, 32, No. 3 (Summer, 1992): 429-42.
[In the essay below, Marshall analyzes Walton's use of time in his biographies by which he heightens the apparent piousness of his subjects.]
It is clear from the prefaces to a number of his later biographies that Izaak Walton becomes increasingly aware of time, especially as regards the long duration of his own life and the inherent burdens of growing old. He writes that “especially at this time of my Age … for I am now past the Seventy of my Age,” the compiling of his biography of Richard Hooker has become a “work of much labour to enquire, consider, research and determine what is needful to be known concerning him.” In his Life of Dr. Sanderson, Walton suggests that writing lives has become burdensome and that “my Age might have procur'd for me a Writ of Ease, and that secur'd from all further trouble in this kind.”1
In the actual texts of a number of the lives, however, I submit that Walton greatly extends his sense of time, developing it into a major theme and into a perceptual framework through which the central figures are to be interpreted by the reader. In the lives of Donne, Herbert, Sanderson, and Hooker there is a persistent and intriguing transformation of the timeless and the essential into the...
(The entire section is 5408 words.)
SOURCE: Martin, Jessica. Introduction to Izaak Walton: Selected Writings, edited by Jessica Martin, pp. Vii-xxvii. Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1997.
[In the following excerpt, Martin attempts to reconcile the persona of Walton as known through his writings with the facts of his life.]
In Winchester, on 9 August 1683, Izaak Walton wrote his last piece of prose—his Will. He was ninety years old. On 24 October he had it witnessed and sealed with the bloodstone seal John Donne had given him, which he habitually used. Some weeks later, on 15 December, he died in Winchester, when the weather was exceptionally cold.
From this once private document, which now makes the final piece in this selection, Walton speaks directly as he does not in any public work of prose. The best-known of these, the Compleat Angler, built as it is around two or three characterised voices, shows him clothed in genial personae. His biographical works, the Lives (for which he was so much more esteemed than for the Angler in his own lifetime) see him interpreted through more or less subjective narrations of the actions of men he admired—via the priest-poets Herbert and Donne, the apparently irenic theologian Richard Hooker, Walton's patron and acquaintance Sir Henry Wotton, and the casuist and Restoration bishop Robert Sanderson. His single overtly political work, Love and Truth,...
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SOURCE: Stanwood, P. G. “Walton's Fame and Influence.”In Izaak Walton pp. 78-101. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1998.
[In the excerpt below, Stanwood offers an overview of critical scholarship on Walton since 1640 and discusses the reasons for enduring critical interest in Walton's works.]
Except for the period from 1676 to 1750, Walton's works have always been in print. Sometimes the Lives were especially renowned, sometimes The Compleat Angler was preeminent. But the unassuming linen draper's reputation has remained constant in a surprising way, and his works have been influential as well as generally fashionable. His readers have included notable writers, illustrators, and churchmen, and a review of this widespread esteem provides a fascinating study of the unfolding history of Walton's work. This chapter will attempt to trace his reputation through the observations made by writers and critics in the years since the first publication of the Life of Donne, in 1640. Writing at the end of the nineteenth century, James Russell Lowell remarked with the kind of affection common to Walton criticism that “He left behind him two books, each a masterpiece in its own simple and sincere way, and only the contemplative leisure of a life like his could have secreted the precious qualities that assure them against decay. … Of the outward husk of this life we know comfortably little, but...
(The entire section is 12665 words.)
Bevan, Jonquil. “Anglicans and Anglers.” In Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler: The Art of Recreation, pp. 1-35. Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1988.
Links Walton's concerns with Anglican ideals and teachings evident in his biographies with similar concerns in The Compleat Angler.
Butt, John. “Izaak Walton's Methods in Biography.” Essays and Studies by Members of the English Association, Vol. XIX, pp. 67-84. Collected by D. Nichol Smith. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934.
Considers the events and sources which influenced Walton's biographies.
Butt, John. “Izaak Walton.” In Biography in the Hands of Walton, Johnson, and Boswell, pp. 1-18. Los Angeles: University of California, 1966.
Describes the unique elements and the intent of Walton's biographies.
Cooper, John R. The Art of The Compleat Angler. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1968, 200 p.
Explores critical issues of The Compleat Angler in light of past scholarship and criticism of the work.
Greenslade, B. D. “The Compleat Angler and the Sequestered Clergy.” Review of English Studies 5, No. 20 (October 1954): 361-66.
Explores the connection between The Compleat Angler and Walton's friendship and respect for...
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