The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton, Illustrated and Signed by James Thorpe, First Thorpe Edition, Edition de Luxe 99/250, 1911

Walton, Izaak. The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative Man’s Recreation… London, New York, and Toronto: Hodder & Stoughton, n.d. [1911]. Illustrated and signed by James Thorpe. Limited edition de luxe printing. Numbered 99 of 250. 4to. In full brown Moroccan leather binding with gilt title to the spine, gilt stamps, tooling, and titles to the front boards, top edge gilt. With 25 mounted color plates. 

Presented is a 1911 printing of Izaak Walton’s famous treatise on fishing, The Compleat Angler. Published by Hodder & Stoughton, this beautifully bound volume is the first edition of The Compleat Angler to include illustrations by the artist James Thorpe, with 25 beautiful full mounted color plates throughout. The volume is an Edition De Luxe issue, limited to only 250 copies of which this is hand-numbered 99. The volume is also signed by James Thorpe on the limitation page. 

The Complete Angler was first published in 1653 by Richard Marriot of St Dunstan-in-the-West out of London, UK. Izaak Walton continued to add to the original book for a quarter of a century. A significantly enlarged edition appeared in 1655, and the last edition supervised by Walton, published in 1676, included additional fly-fishing material written by his friend Charles Cotton. The 1676 edition has been among the most often reprinted books in English literature.

The Compleat Angler remains one of the most important environmental books in history. Through the characters of Auceps the fowler, Venator the hunter, and Piscator the fisherman, Walton imparted a view of the natural world that was revolutionary at the time. Walton understood that a healthy environment was essential to the outdoor recreation that he loved, and used the story of Piscator and the novice fisherman Venator to show how a healthy environment supports the art of angling. 

Though intended in part as a practical guide for fishermen, the lasting influence of The Compleat Angler stems from its qualities as a work of literature: it is arguably the best long prose-pastoral in English.  The discourse between Piscator and Venator as Piscator teaches Venator how to bait a hook, catch varied species of freshwater fish, and cook them, is enriched with songs and poems, folklore, recipes, anecdotes, moral meditations, quotes from the Bible and from classic literature, and lore about fishing and waterways. 

Izaak Walton's classic celebration of the joys of fishing has captivated anglers and nature lovers with its timeless advice and instruction. Enhanced by James Thorpe’s colorful and charming illustrations, this printing of The Compleat Angler is made even more collectible and would be the perfect addition to any sportsman’s library. 


In good condition. 4to. Original full crushed brown Moroccan leather boards, with gilt titles to the spine, gilt fisherman stamp, tooling, and titles to the front boards. Top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed. Spine is sunned. Book has been discreetly rebacked preserving the original spine and front board. Limited Edition de Luxe issue, numbered 99 of 250 on the limitation page. Signed by James Thorpe on the limitation page. Early past ownership gift inscription on limitation page. Illustrated throughout, with 25 mounted color plates.  Closed tear to final leaf professionally repaired. Coigney 250. Dimensions: 11 1/2" x 9 5/8" x 1 5/8".

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