- or - the Contemplative Man's Recreation
A pastoral discourse on the joys of fishing by Izaak Walton, was first published in 1653.
A much enlarged edition appeared in 1655, and the last edition supervised by the author, published in 1676, included additional material by Charles Cotton.
The complete book, including Cotton's additions, has been among the most often reprinted books in English literature.
The book opens on the first day of May,
as three sportsmen - Auceps the fowler, Venator the hunter, and Piscator the fisherman - compare their favored pastimes while traveling through the English countryside along the River Lea.
The discourse is enlivened by more than 40 songs and poems, country folklore, recipes, anecdotes, moral meditations, quotes from the Bible and from classic literature, and lore about fishing and waterways.
The Compleat Angler is based in part on 15th- and 16th-century fishing manuals, and the sections on fly fishing and the making of artificial flies are by Cotton. (source: The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature)
If you would like to read this book, take a look on the Gutenberg Project site here: The Compleat Angler e-book