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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Walton tradition in the nineteenth century Broomhall, Peter Hudson

Abstract

The co-purposes of this thesis are to demonstrate why angling literature qualifies as a subject worthy of serious study, and to explore the nature of the tradition of angling literature of the nineteenth century. Although the focus is on nineteenth century works, many earlier writings have been discussed. Of the pre-1800 authors discussed, the most important is Izaak Walton—The Father of Anglers. It is believed that the thesis demonstrates that Walton greatly influenced his followers. To identify "The Walton Tradition in the Nineteenth Century," and to trace Walton's impact on nineteenth century writers on angling, extensive reading was required. Of 150-odd books on angling examined, more than 100 belong to the nineteenth century. More than one-half of them have been listed in the bibliography. The titles were gleaned from angling writers themselves, from those who wrote about angling writers, and from bibliographies on angling works. Scarce as it is, most of the important critical material available on the subject has also been listed in a bibliography. As the research progressed, it became quickly apparent that angling literature could be sub-divided into, several broad categories. These divisions are reflected in the chapter headings which follow. It also became apparent that, at bottom, most of the major authors—and many of the minor writers—consciously or unconsciously shared remarkably similar attitudes toward the pursuit of angling. It became evident, for example, that the writers view angling itself as both an art and a virtuous pastime; that they rate personal experience with, and commitment to, angling as being more important than originality of expression about angling; that they concern themselves with both the facts and the philosophy of angling; that they believe the complete angler must be both active and contemplative; that they respect nature; and that they recognize how angling can help man to be re-created.

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