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Mt. Izaak Walton (12,077 ft.)
Named by Francis Farquhar in 1919
"Izaak Walton (1593-1683)
English biographer, who is best known for THE COMPLEAT ANGLER (1653), a classic guide to joys of fishing with over 300 new printings. It combines practical information about angling with folk lore, pastoral interludes of song, quotations from several writers, and glipses of an idyllic rural life of well-kept inns and tuneful milkmaids.
Walton was born in Stafford. His father died before Izaak was three, and he had probably some schooling in Stafford. In the 1610s he was a proprietor of an ironmonger's shop in London, and in 1618 he became a freeman of the Ironmonger's Company, eventually making himself prosperous through his own drapery business.
Despite his modest education Walton read widely, and associated with men of learning. Until 1643 he lived in the parish of St. Dunstan, where Jihn Donne was a vicar, and the two become friends. When Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639), poet and distinguished Provost of Eton, died, Walton continued Wotton's biography of Donne. It appeared as a preface to a volume of Donne's sermons, enlarged later, and published separately in 1658. Walton wrote also other biographical works about such persons as the poet and Walton's fishing companion George Herbert, Robert Sanderson, bishop of Lincoln, Henry Wotton, and theologian Richard Hooker.
Walton left London for Staffordshire during the Civil War. He seems to have retired from business about 1644. After the Restoration (1660) and the death of his second wife, Walton lived at Farnham Castle as permanent guest of George Morley, bishop of Wincester. He died in Winchester on December 15, 1683. He was buried in the Cathedral.
The Compleat Angler has become one of the most reprinted books in the history of British letters. This unque combination of manual and meditation focuses on three sportsmen, a fisherman (Piscator, who is Walton himself), a huntsman (Venator), and a fowler (Auceps). They travel along the river Lea on the first day in May and discuss the relative merits of their respective pastimes. Walton drew his work on Nicholas Breton's (c. 1545-1626) fishing idyll Wits Trenchmour (1597). The second edition was largely rewritten and in the fifth edition Walton wrote about flyfishing on the river Dove, a subject Walton himself knew little about.
For further reading: Lives of English Laymen by William H. Teale (1977); Izaak Walton to Henry Fielding: The Critical Perspective, ed. by Harold Bloom (1987); Izaak Walton by P.G. Stanwood (1998)
More about Izaak Walton:
Text of The Compleat Angler:
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Mt. Izaak Walton
This page last updated: Sat Apr 7 17:02:15 2007
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