Lives of John Donne, Henry Wotton, Richd [I E Richard] Hooker, George Herbert, Volume 2

Front Cover
General Books LLC, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 162 pages
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1898 Excerpt: ... INTRODUCTION. T HAVE been persuaded, by a friend whom Introduc. I reverence, and ought to obey, to write tion the Life of RICHARD HOOKER, the happy Author of Five--if not more--of the eight learned books of " The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity." And though I have undertaken it, yet it hath been with some unwillingness: because I foresee that it must prove to me, and especially at this time of my age, a work of much labour to enquire, consider, research, and determine what is needful to be known concerning him. For I knew him not in his life, and must therefore not only look back to his death, --now sixty-four years past, --but almost fifty years beyond that, even to his childhood and youth; and gather thence such observations and prognostics as may at least adorn, if not prove necessary for the completing of what I have undertaken. This trouble I foresee, and foresee also that it is impossible to escape censures; against which I will not hope my well-meaning and diligence can protect me, --for I consider the age in which I live--and shall therefore but intreat of my Reader a suspension of his censures, till I have made known unto him some reasons, which I 3 Reasons myself would now gladly believe do make me for this in some measure fit for this undertaking; and if these reasons shall not acquit me from all censures, they may at least abate of their severity, and this is all I can probably hope for. My reasons follow. About forty years past--for I am now past the seventy of my age--I began a happy affinity with William Cranmer, --now with God, --grand-nephew unto the great Archbishop of that name;--a family of noted prudence and resolution; with him and two of his sisters I had an entire and free friendship: one of them was the wife of Dr. Spencer,1 a bosom friend...

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2009)

Izaak Walton, one of the earliest English biographers who is best remembered as the author of The Compleat Angler, was born in the parish of St. Mary's, at Stafford, on August 9, 1593. His father, Gervase Walton, was an innkeeper who died when the boy was five. By the time Walton was twenty he was living in London, apprenticed to his brother-in-law, a prosperous clothier. His marriage to Rachel Floud, a relative of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, in 1626 allied him with a prominent clerical family, and as a parishioner at St. Dunstan's Church Walton became a close friend of its vicar, John Donne.
Among Walton's earliest surviving literary efforts is an elegy written in 1633 for the initial collection of Donne's poems. The poet-clergyman was the subject of the first of Walton's great biographical essays: "Life of Donne served as the preface to the 1640 edition of the minister's sermons and was filled with anecdotes and personal impressions. Over the years Walton's loyalty to the Church of England, coupled with his genius for friendship, inspired him to write biographies of four other eminent theologians: "Sir Henry Wotton (1651), "Richard Hooker (1665), "George Herbert (1670), and "Dr. Robert Sanderson (1678). Each is distinguished by the intimacy and vivacity characteristic of the "Life of Donne. It is little wonder that Samuel Johnson rated Walton's five "Lives among 'his most favourite books.'
Walton's reputation as a biographer is overshadowed by the enduring popularity of "The Compleat Angler. First published in 1653, during the Civil War that forced Walton and other royalists to flee London, the work is more than an engaging discourse on the art of fishing. It reflects athoughtful, sensitive Englishman's abiding concern with leading a contemplative life. Indeed, many have read Walton's unique celebration of angling throughout the English countryside as a veiled satire against Cromwell and the Puritans. Four revised editions appeared in the author's lifetime, and "The Compleat Angler has enjoyed a wide following ever since. Samuel Johnson praised the book in the eighteenth century as did the Scottish philosopher Lord Home. Later, Charles Lamb recommended Walton remained active well into old age. "The Restoration of Charles II in 1660 returned many of his friends in the Anglican clergy to positions of influence, and they were quick to reciprocate the acts of goodwill he had displayed during Cromwell's reign. Following the death of his second wife in 1662, Walton was employed as steward to the bishop of Worcester. At the bishop's residence of Farnham Castle in Wincester Walton continued to write and revise his published works.
In 1676 Walton asked a young follower, the poet Charles Cotton, to furnish a supplement on fly-fishing for the fifth edition of "The Compleat Angler, and the two pursued the project at a cottage on the banks of the Dove River in Derbyshire. On August 9, 1683, the inveterate angler marked his ninetieth birthday by drafting a will and securing it with a seal given him by John Donne. Izaak Walton died three months later on December 15, 1683and was buried at Winchester Cathedral.

Bibliographic information