1824 · London
[with the same author's] The lives of Dr. John Donne, Sir Henry Wotton, Mr. Richard Hooker, Mr. George Herbert, and Dr. Robert Sanderson ... To which are added, the autographs of those eminent men, now first collected; an index, and illustrative notes. London: John Major (pr. at the Shakspeare Press by W. Nicol), 1825. Frontis., xviii, , 503,  pp.; 10 plts., illus.
Classic combination: Major's nicely edited rendition of Walton's beloved treatise in combination with his collected lives of authors, the set (with Angler here in its stated second edition, Lives in the first) => charmingly illustrated with a total of 25 copper-engraved plates and numerous wood-engraved in-text vignettes. The Angler plates generally represent dashing young men — and a few young ladies — in the garb of Walton's day, while many of the in-text illustrations depict hooked fish; the Lives volume opens with a representation of the subjects' signatures within a decorative frame and includes, along with a portrait of each, ten renditions of important moments and locations in the subjects' careers as well as numerous smaller portraits, coats of arms, etc.
Bindings: Contemporary dark brown morocco, covers framed and panelled in blind surrounding embossed arabesque cartouches, spines with gilt-stamped titles and blind-ruled compartments, board edges with single gilt fillet, wide turn-ins with quadruple gilt fillets and corner fleurons. All edges gilt.
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabels ("AHA") at rear. Bound as above; joints, edges, and spine extremities rubbed and refurbished, spines sunned. Back free endpapers each with bookseller's ticket of Hessey, Fleet Street. Minor offsetting from turn-ins to free endpapers; pages slightly age-toned, otherwise clean. => A desirable set, externally a bit worn, now exuding the promise of comfortable enjoyment. (Inventory #: 40307)