Occasional Reflections upon Several Subjects. Whereto is premis'd a Discourse about Such Kind of Thoughts. Robert Boyle.
Occasional Reflections upon Several Subjects. Whereto is premis'd a Discourse about Such Kind of Thoughts

Boyle the Fisherman: the Honeyman Copy

Occasional Reflections upon Several Subjects. Whereto is premis'd a Discourse about Such Kind of Thoughts.

London: by W. Wilson for Henry Herringman, 1665.

First edition. Title in red and black. [40], 264; 229, [1], 9 pp. 2 parts. 1 vols. 8vo. Boyle the Fisherman: the Honeyman Copy. Contemporary panelled calf, rebacked. Some slight dampstaining to endpapers, hole on 2D3 affecting some letters. Overall, a pleasant copy, in a red quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: Robert Honeyman (his sale, Sotheby's London, 31 October 1978, lot 464); with his morocco ex-libris on the front pastedown. Fulton Boyle 64; Petit 261; Wing B-4005; Westwood & Satchell, p. 40; Heckscher Catalogue 271; not in the Litchfield nor Simpson Sales. Item #226834

Boyle's most amusing and most frequently reprinted work in modern times, written for the most part while he was a young squire at Stalbridge and much given to riding, walking and angling -- as well as pursuing his scientific interests. Boyle's florid style was parodied by Swift in his Occasional Meditations on a Broomstick, and it is often stated that Reflection II of Section VI on "The Eating of Oysters" (p. 194) gave birth to Gulliver's Travels.

Of special interest to anglers is the second part (Section IV), entitled "Angling Improv'd to Spiritual Uses", which contains meditations on angling themes such as "Upon Fishing with a Counterfeit Fly," "Upon a Fish's Struggling after having Swallowed the Hook," "Upon Fishes running away with the Bait," etc. Westwood & Satchell rightly note that "the details of the sport are merely employed as the pegs on which to hang moral and religious reflections." But the scientist Boyle explains that "being really a great lover of angling, and frequently diverting myself at that sport ... the accidents of that recreation were the true themes on which the following discourses were not the only meditations I had made." Published only 10 years after the appearance of Walton's Compleat Angler (1653), it is hard to imagine that Boyle's meditations were not influenced by his distinguished predecessor.

The book's significance to anglers is amply evidenced by the prices of copies from famous angling collections: the Heckscher copy in 1906 brought $13.50; the Dean Sage copy in 1984 brought $400.

Price: $2,750.00 Free International Delivery