Author(s): Izaak Walton
Since the late 18th century more than 300 editions have appeared as the name Walton became known everwhere in the land. The book opens on the first day of May, as three sportsmen - Auceps the Fowler, Venator the Hunter and Piscator the Fisherman - compare their favourite hobby as they travel through the English countryside along the River Lea. The central character, Piscator, is not simply a champion and expositor of the art of angling but a man of tranquil, contented temper with a relish for the pleasures of friendship, verse and song, good food and drink. Walton explored in sometimes whimsical, sometimes philosophical fashion matters touching upon his great pastime; he includes anecdotes, songs, descriptions of fish and their habitats, and most beautifully the countryside.
Being comfortable (and well-connected) enough to retire in 1644, Izaak Walton turned to writing about his passion, fishing. In 1653 he published THE COMPLEAT ANGLER a work he added to and revised for years to come - he died at the then extraordinary age of 90, having enjoyed decades of angling during his long retirement, mainly on the River Dove dividing Staffordshire and Derbyshire.