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The Compleat Angler: And Other Meditations on the Art and Philosophy of Fishing, 15th Century to the Present: Sir Henry Wotton

The exhibit is located in the Reading Room at Archives & Special Collections, 363 Hillman Library, Spring - Fall 2017.

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Wotton's Fishing House

Wotton's Fishing House

The Complete Angler, Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton, 1836

Sir Henry Wotton and his Relationship to Izaak Walton

Henry Wotton was an English diplomat, politician, and writer. Izaak Walton, who was a friend and angling companion, wrote The Life of Sir Henry Wotton, which comprises the first twenty-four leaves of text in the Reliquiae Wottonianae, published in 1651. Walton as Piscator in The Complete Angler describes Wotton:

Piscator. My next and last example shall be that undervaluer of mony, the late Provost of Eton Colledge, Sir Henry Wotton, (a man with whom I have often fish’d and covers’d) a man whose forreign Imployments in the service of this Nation, and whose experience, learning, wit and chearfulness made his company to be esteemed one of the delights of mankind; this man, whose very approbation of Angling were sufficient to convince any modest censurer of it, this man was also a most dear lover, and a frequent practiser of the art of angling; of which he would say, ‘Twas an imployment for his idle time, which was then not idly spent: for angling was after tedious Study, a rest to his mind, a chearer of his spirits, a diverter of sadness, a calmer of unquiet thoughts, a moderator of passions, a procurer of contentedness: and that it begat habits of peace and patience in those that profess’d and practis’d it. Indeed, my friend, you will find angling to be like the vertue of Humility, which has a calmness of spirit, and a world of other blessings attending upon it.


Izaak Walton, The Compleat Angler, 1676, I (44-45).

Reliquiae Wottonianae

Reliquiae Wottonianae Frontispiece and Title Page

Reliquiae Wottonianae, Sir Henry Wotton, 1651

Image from The Saleroom

Wotton, Henry, Sir, (1568-1639).
Walton, Izaak, (1593-1683) contributor.

Reliquiae Wottonianae. Or, a Collection of Lives, Letters, Poems; with Characters of Sundry Personages: And other Incomparable Pieces of Language and Art.

London: Printed by Thomas Maxey, for R. Marriot, G. Bedel, and T. Garthwait, 1651.

University Library System - Archives & Special Collections

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