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To my Grandchildren
JUDITH AND ERIC, and to all my other grandchildren whose names have not yet appeared in print,
I DEDICATE THIS BOOK. I think I ought to have dedicated this, in all probability my last book, to my old friend CLARK Russell, for he it was who first tempted me into print. I wrote some letters which appeared in The Fishing Gazette, and therefrom proceeded in course of time my first little book, An Amateur Angler's Days in Dove Dale. I owe my old friend a debt of gratitude for many a kind mark of friendship since that time, and not the least for his having done me the honour of dedicating one of his charming novels to me; but I am sure he will pardon me for not dedicating this volume to him, firstly, because it is not worthy of him, and, secondly, because there would have been a little tempest among my grandchildren. “Mind, Grandpa,” said pretty Judith, shaking her finger at me~"remember !!” The worst of the business is, there is such a lot of these grandchildren, who, because I have already printed the names of two or three of them in my books, consider themselves to be slighted because they have not had books dedicated to them also! Why, bless me, if I were to write a book for every one of them, the British Museum would hardly hold them!-and, worst of all, nobody would buy the books if I printed them. I hope I have solved the difficulty by dedicating this book to them all in a bunch. A mere list of all their names would take up a whole page, and the printer won't allow it.
THE AMATEUR ANGLER.
N bringing these holiday sketches together, I have added here and there much new matter. This has
been more particularly the case in the chapters on the Dove and the Lea. With that portion of the Dove which extends from the head of Beresford Dale to Okeover Bridge, and with that short portion of the Manifold from its emergence at Ilam Hall, after its long subterranean passage, to its junction with the Dove, about a mile or so below, I may claim a fairly intimate acquaintance, chiefly as regards their angling capacities. I owe my initiation to the brotherhood of anglers to a visit of three weeks to Dove Dale, eighteen years ago. My personal impressions of that pleasant summer time were recorded in a small volume entitled "An Amateur Angler's Days in Dove Dale." I had then reached the mature age of three score and a little more, but I was a mere juvenile in the art of angling. That little volume has long since been out of print, but for me it is a pleasant coincidence that my first and my last holiday book should relate to DOVE DALE—that is why I have called the present volume, which is the seventh of the series, “DOVE DALE REVISITED.”
The river Lea I have no personal acquaintance with, beyond the one day's fishing recorded herein. I am indebted mainly to that very pleasant book, “Rambles by Rivers,” by Mr. James Thorne, published by Charles Knight in 1844, for any information I have gleaned about that classic stream which was the chief scene of Izaak Walton's exploits.
THE AMATEUR ANGLER.