WALTON, Izaak. The Lives of Doctor John Donne, Sir Henry Wotton, Knight, Mr. Richard Hooker, Mr. George Herbert, and Doctor Robert Sanderson

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WALTON, Izaak. The Lives of Doctor John Donne, Sir Henry Wotton, Knight, Mr. Richard Hooker, Mr. George Herbert, and Doctor Robert Sanderson Chiswick Press for George Bell and Sons, London, 1904.

Folio, sometime bound in full red polished calf, spine panelled and lettered in gilt, boards with gilt roll border enclosing two gilt line panels, gilt corner pieces, watered silk doblures, marbled paper endpapers, illustrated with six portraits engraved and printed by Messrs Walker and Cockerell, title-page and initial letters designed by Mr D. Clayton Calthorp. Printed in red and black A little light offsetting from tissue guards to portraits, otherwise a near fine, largely unopened, copy in a handsome binding.
Limited edition of 200 numbered copies choicely printed at the Chiswick Press.
"Walton also made significant contributions to seventeenth-century life-writing throughout his career. His leisurely labours as a biographer seem to have grown out of his devotion to angling. It was probably as an angler that he made the acquaintance of Sir Henry Wotton, but it is clear that Walton had more than a love of fishing and a humorous temper to recommend him to the friendship of the accomplished ambassador. At any rate, Wotton, who had intended to write the life of John Donne, and had already corresponded with Walton on the subject, left the task to him. Walton had already contributed an elegy to the 1633 edition of Donne's poems, and he completed and published the life, much to the satisfaction of the most learned critics, in 1640. Sir Henry Wotton dying in 1639, Walton undertook his life also; it was finished in 1642 and published in 1651 as a preface to the volume Reliquiae Wottonianae. His life of Hooker was published in 1665, and his biography of George Herbert in 1670, the latter coinciding with a collected edition of Walton's biographical writings, The Lives of Dr. John Donne, Sir Henry Wotton, Mr. Richard Hooker, Mr. George Herbert (1670, 1675). His life of Bishop Robert Sanderson appeared in 1678. All these subjects were endeared to the biographer by a certain gentleness of disposition and cheerful piety; three of them at least—Donne, Wotton and Herbert—were anglers. Walton studied these men's lives in detail, and provides many insights into their character." (Encyclopædia Britannica (1911),

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