The New Student's Reference Work/Walton, Izaak


Walton (wa̤ltŭn), Izaak, a famous English author and "The Father of Angling," was born at Stafford, England, Aug. 9, 1593, and died at Winchester, England, Dec. 15, 1683. He was engaged in trade in London, as a linen-draper, between the years 1624 and 1644, and made a competence, upon which he retired and devoted himself to literary pursuits, and to angling, of which he became a renowned exponent. Besides his quaint and fascinating treatise on the rod—The Complete Angler or the Contemplative Man's Recreation (1653), he wrote a series of sketches of English divines, embraced in what is known, in their collective character, as Walton's Lives. These sketches dealt with Dr. John Donne, Richard Hooker ("the judicious Hooker"), George Herbert the poet and divine, Bishop Robert Sanderson and Sir Henry Wotten, the English diplomatist and author. Walton's Lives have deservedly found a place in the best literature and are sure of a long immortality. Considering the stormy era in which he lived, that of the great English Revolution (1642-60), waged by the Parliamentary army against Charles I and on to the Restoration, it is curious to note the serenity of mind and life of Master Izaak Walton.