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IZAAC WALTON AND CHARLES COTTON.
I Dew JHustrated Editiott, with Dates
G. CHRISTOPHER DAVIES,
HE popularity of“ The Complete Angler," written
by Izaac Walton and Charles Cotton, is so
deservedly great, that no excuse is necessary for its introduction into the series known as “The Chandos Library” and “The Chandos Classics,” notwithstanding the great number of editions through which it has already passed. Indeed, no set of English classics would be complete without it.
As the present edition will, from the lowness of its price, have a wide circulation among all classes, the encumbrance of notes seems to be necessary both to explain the allusions in the text, and to prevent the promulgation of erroneous notions concerning Natural History, for Walton was sometimes mistaken in his beliefs. Furthermore, in order to make the book as useful and comprehensive as possible, the Editor has thought it well to add concise and practical directions with respect to the modern art of angling, wherein will be found the results of his own experience, and a digest
of the experiences of others. Much has been written about the art of angling, but generally that which has been of high value has also been high priced. The Editor hopes that this book, though low priced, will not be made of less value by the insertion of the angling directions. Angling is now one of the fine arts (it is a very fine art indeed), and in every new fishing book the Editor has read he finds some new idea or valuable wrinkle. As long as this is the case, there cannot be too many new angling books written.
Notes at the foot of the page are a horrible nuisance, distracting the attention of the reader to the greatest degree. It therefore seemed better to lump them together at the end of each chapter in the shape of an appendix, and the reader can please himself whether he refers to them or not. If he only desires to read the prose-poetry of the text, he can skip the chapters in smaller type ; and if he turns to the book for practical directions, he can look at the appendices only. The arrangement, therefore, is this : A chapter of the text, and then an appendix containing, first, “Historical Notes," chiefly from Hawkins, and referred to by the smaller letters in the text; secondly, "General Notes" by the Editor, referred to by numerals; and third, a “Practical Essay" by the Editor.
The majority of the woodcuts are from Major's beautiful edition; to these are added modern cuts illustrative of fishing-tackle, etc.
With a sense of the honour done to him by the Publishers when they requested him to prepare this edition, and an equal sense of his own deficiencies for the task, the Editor lays down his pen, and, turning round to the fire, sees in the red-hot coals pictures of many a happy fishing day long since past, while outside the autumn winds blow hard, and