'The Compleat Angler is not about how to fish but about how to be,' said novelist Thomas McGuane. '[Walton] spoke of an amiable mortality and rightness on the earth that has been envied by his readers for three hundred years.'
Samuel Johnson (1709-84) is the most significant English writer of the second half of the eighteenth century; indeed, this period is widely known as the Age of Johnson. Hawkins was Johnson's friend and legal adviser and the chief executor of his will. He knew Johnson longer and in many respects better than other biographers, including Boswell, who made unacknowledged use of Hawkins's Life and helped orchestrate the critical attacks that consigned the book to obscurity.
Sir John Hawkins had special insight into Johnson's mental states at various points in his life, his early days in London, his association with the Gentleman's Magazine, and his political views and writings. Hawkins's use of historical and cultural details, an uncommon literary device at the time, produced one of the earliest "life and times" biographies in our language. The Introduction by O M Brack, Jr., covers the history of the composition, publication, and reception of the Life and provides a context in which it should be read. Annotations address historical, literary, and linguistic uncertainties, and a full textual apparatus documents how Brack arrived at this definitive text of Hawkins's Life.
First published in 1653, this literary and nature classic was created by a Londoner with a passion for rustic life. As satisfying a primer on fishing as any angler could wish, it celebrates the art and spirit of fishing with verse, song and folklore, moral reflections, and timeless wisdom. Cast in the form of a dialogue between the veteran angler Piscator and his pupil Viator, it both informs and delights with an ingenious exploration of fishing's subtle intricacies and the pleasures of the natural world.
In Everything Forgotten: The Conversation, Sir John presents ideas he holds that may form the basis for such a revolution. He explores a wide variety of hotly debated topics, considering love and its unfortunate misinterpretation in the modern world; sex and its use and misuse in marriage; and various gender-related issues, focusing on the role of men and women in today’s society. He also explores music and the music industry, as well as the destruction of societal relationships through social media. Presenting analysis in both verse and essay format, Sir John writes with the intent of illuminating the effect of these topics on our decisions in life.
This collection of prose and poetry offers one man’s opinions on a wide range of topics relating to social and interpersonal relationship issues.