BARKER, Thomas (fl. 1651). The Young Sportsman's Miscellany in Hunting, Coursing, Shooting, Angling, Racing, Cocking...London: Compton & Richie, 1824

$ 1,500.00

BARKER, Thomas (fl. 1651). The Young Sportsman's Miscellany in Hunting, Coursing, Shooting, Angling, Racing, Cocking, &c. &c. including a reprint of Barker's scarce tract on Angling. London: Compton & Richie, Middle Street, Cloth Fair, 1824.

12mo., (5 4/8 x 3 2/8 inches). General title-page and 3 sectional title-pages. Fine engraved frontispiece of a horse racing by William Giller after Francis Calcraft Turner and 22 fine wood-engravings in the text. Contemporary tan calf, each cover with a broad border of blind and gilt roll tools, the smooth spine decorated in 3 panels with black morocco lettering-piece in one (expertly rebacked preserving the original spine).

Provenance: with the bookplate and small in library stamp of the Bibliotheca Tiliana.

Scarce; originally published in parts with the title The Young Sportsman's Pocket Magazine, published on September 1, October 1 and November 1, 1823. The frontispiece Contending for the Cup is the same as that in Anecdotes on the Origin and Antiquity of Horse-Racing of 1825.

Barker's tract on Angling was republished in the early nineteenth century, and "he was much praised by late Victorian angling writers who, however, deplored his ‘heresy’ of recommending salmon roe as a bait" (J. R. Lowerson for DNB). He seems to have made a living as an angling tutor and guide for members of the gentry and aristocracy. "He is claimed to have helped Izaak Walton to write The Compleat Angler; his advice on fly-fishing was modified by Walton on page 108 of the 1653 edition. His own The Art of Angling, first published in 1651 and dedicated to Lord Montague, who followed the sport, includes biblical texts, Latin tags, and doggerel verse to bolster his claims that fishing far surpasses all other recreations in promoting health and pleasure. The text offers much hard practical advice on fish species, tackle and bait, together with recipes, including pike with stewed oysters, and employs a successful formula for angling writing which has been much copied subsequently" (J. R. Lowerson for DNB). Schwerdt II p.306