(London: Septimus Prowett, 1823). 163 x 98 mm. (6 3/8 x 4"). 2 p.l., ii, 93,  pp. With half title. First Edition in Book Form.
MOST ATTRACTIVE CONTEMPORARY DARK GREEN STRAIGHT-GRAIN MOROCCO, GILT, BY R. WALLIS (stamp-signed on verso of front free endpaper), covers with French fillet borders, circles at corners, raised bands, spine compartments with central floral sprig within a lozenge of small tools, acanthus leaves at corners, turn-ins with intricate floral roll, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Title vignette, two illustrations in the text, historiated initial, tailpiece, and 20 very pleasing engravings (including frontispiece). Coigney, p. 405. ◆A VERY FINE COPY with no signs of use, the binding shining and unworn, and the text fresh, clean, and bright, with sharp impressions of the plates.
This is an especially fine copy, with pleasing illustrations, of the first thorough biography of Walton. A scholar and clergyman, Zouch (1737-1815) was forced by ill health to retire from active life in the 1790s, and chose to concentrate his intellectual efforts on biography. He first published this account in 1796 as prefatory material in an edition of Walton's own "Lives"; this is the first separate edition. DNB observes that Zouch "casts Walton as the exemplary Londoner, fully conversant with the world but unwavering in his attachment to church and crown, one who adopts a 'mild spirit of moderation' in a troubled age." A great admirer of Walton's own biographical skills, Zouch sought, in Walton's words, to present "examples of men strictly and faithfully discharging their professional duties" with the goal of encouraging his readers' "efforts to excel in moral worth." The charming engravings include depictions of the avid fisherman Walton engaging in his favorite pursuit, and a facsimile of the title page from first edition of his immortal "Compleat Angler. (ST16369a)