Page images
PDF
EPUB

superfluous to add to their number. But the publisher placed before me such a valuable store of materials, the accumulation of years, that it was quite evident the proposed edition would surpass all its predecessors, and be a great boon to the public; I therefore willingly undertook a task every way congenial to my tastes and feelings.

If a full appreciation of the piety and virtues of the Author, his honest simplicity of mind, his pure taste for the beautiful in nature, and his pleasing eloquence, were alone-sufficient to qualify an editor of his immortal work, I should yield to no one; but other qualifications are requisite, and I must leave the reader to determine how far they are exemplified in the volume before him.

The two centuries which have elapsed since the first edition of the Complete Angler,' have occasioned the necessity of many historical illustrations, several corrections of erroneous notions in matters of natural history, and large additions on the practice of angling. These have been collected from every available source, as will be seen by the numerous authorities quoted. Indeed, it has been endeavoured to combine all the advantages of preceding editions in the present. The notes of Sir John Hawkins have been taken bodily, excepting in some instances where they had become obsolete, or superseded; and the notes of Browne, Rennie, Bagster, Sir Henry Ellis, Sir Harris Nicolas, and others, have been culled to supply whatever could add to the interest or instructiveness of the volume. Nor must we omit mention of the “ American editor," whose edition, printed at New York in 1847, though deficient in graphic illustration, is in the way of annotation more complete than any produced in this country up to its date. The notes, however, being principally from common sources, have not been of the use to us that the merit of the edition would imply.

The Complete Angler' seems to have been an especial favourite of booksellers, and has had the good fortune to find no fewer than six foster-fathers among them. Indeed, nearly all the editions which have appeared during the last half century are more or less indebted to them. Mr. Bagster (a practical angler) led the way in 1808, with an improved edition of Sir John Hawkins, edited by himself; this he republished in 1815, with additions of his own, and some by Sir Henry Ellis. Mr. Thomas Gosden, a devoted angler, published, and we believe edited, the edition of 1822, for which he also arranged the illustrations, and designed patterns for the binding. Mr. Major followed in 1823, and between that and 1844 produced four editions, of which the last is the best and most elegant. Mr. Pickering was the projector of his magnificent edition, published in 1835, and co-operated with Sir Harris Nicolas, the editor, as well in the practical part (in which he was at home), as in the graphic and bibliographic departments. Mr. Kent Causton, in 1851, edited what would have been a very satisfactory edition, had the engravings been better. Lastly comes Mr. Bohn, who has contributed largely to the present volume, and whose good taste and extensive information have throughout been of the greatest value to the editor. Indeed, it has not a little surprised him, that amongst the numerous works which are almost daily passing through Mr. Bohn's hands, he should have found time to devote so much attention to the present edition.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »