London: Printed for S. Bagster, in the Strand, By R. Watts, at Broxbourne, on the River Lea, Herts, MDCCCXV . Full Calf. 8vo: ,514p,pp, with 13 (of 14) full-page engraved plates and 36 further illustrations (17 of fish, 2 maps of the River Lea & the River Dove, 2 autograph facsimiles, 2 leaves of music and 13 other text engravings; 16 of the engravings are new to this edition and 20, including the 17 of fish, are based on new drawings). Complete with the 7pp of advertisements, bibliographical references and index (but absent the frontispiece portrait of Walton by Philip Audinet). The title page to part 2 has the imprint and date from the 1676 edition, facing a portrait of Cotton by J. Linnell after Lely; the two leaves of music are of songs by N. Lanier and H. Lawes. An excellent copy, rebacked with slightly later speckled calf boards framed in gilt with a greek-key roll and turn-ins decorated with a gilt leaf tool, original spine (elaborately gilt in six compartments with red morocco gilt lettering piece) laid down. Marbled end papers, all edges gilt. Light water stain to bottom inside corner of first and final few leaves, minor foxing and offsetting to plates and adjacent pages, otherwise excellent. According to Westwood ('Chronicle of The "Complete Angler",' 1883), this edition was "printed in two sizes, demy octavo and royal octavo" (this appears to be the former). He also calls the "fresh series of plates of fish . . . superior to those of 1808. . . . Great is our leaning, we confess, to this edition, which was printed in the village of Broxbourne, by the River Lea, and in the very footprints of old Izaak." Westwood & Satchell, pp. 224-25. OCLC Number: 58443434. Near Fine. Item #BB0947
Second Bagster Edition, edited with lengthy improvements and additions by Sir Henry Ellis of the British Museum, who compiled the first printed list of angling books and added fresh bibliographical and biographical notes to this edition. Walton conceived The Complete Angler as a "dialogue between men travelling on foot who each represented a different recreation. In the first edition there were two, Piscator (fisherman) and Viator (traveller); in the second and much expanded edition of 1655 the two had become three: Viator was now Venator (hunter), and Auceps (falconer) was added. By this means the art of fishing was introduced, defended, and expounded: its strong precedent in the fishermen apostles of the New Testament was established, the detail of baiting for, catching, and cooking different kinds of fish was catalogued, and the whole was accompanied by aphorisms which would show the reader what it might mean to live well. . . . Walton revised the Compleat Angler four times in his lifetime: in 1655, 1661 (with a second issue in 1664), 1668, and 1676. Its last edition was so much expanded from the first as to constitute almost a different text." What's more, by the date of this, the second Bagster edition, The complete angler had commanded such huge popularity, that it had been "reprinted almost as many times as A Pilgrim's Progress." (ODNB).