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COMMENTING ON COMMENTS

D

ean Sage, the pre-eminent collector of Walton and angling titles, in his copy of Wanny Blossoms, wrote on a pasted-in broadside ballad presented by a poet: “This was sent me in London in April 1896, on the occasion of my buying a dog … which was mortally ill from mange ...” Cynically, he called the fellow who sold him the dog an “Honest Angler!!” The book’s next owner editorialized, “he should not have bought a dog sight unseen.” And when Haslam acquired it, he joined the “conversation,” adding, “Sage was somewhat disillusioned!”

POINTING OUT “POINTS” Dr. Haslam pored over his volumes page by page taking notice of the various “points” that determine a particular printing. In an 1808 edition of The Complete Angler printed for Samuel Bagster, Haslam saw a variation not reported in standard bibliographies. The address of the publisher was given as one place in the front and as another at the back. “The two addresses… imply that he moved during printing of book. Which was the 1st address?” he asked. “Any other differences?” The question, which he knew others would take up after him, still stands.

In a tiny pocket-sized 1825 Complete Angler, a previous owner, A. W., jotted down why he believed the woodcuts in it were by famous artist Thomas Bewick. Haslam spotted some changes inked over in the text, summarizing, “A.W.’s statements are contradictory.” Although the spine is stamped with “Bewick,” Haslam remained unconvinced.

“The two addresses…imply that he moved during printing of book. which was the 1st address?”

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The Sport of the Book: The Greville Haslam Sporting Book Collection  

The creation of one man, the culmination of a lifetime of collecting, the Greville Haslam Sporting Book Collection of over 2,000 volumes off...

The Sport of the Book: The Greville Haslam Sporting Book Collection  

The creation of one man, the culmination of a lifetime of collecting, the Greville Haslam Sporting Book Collection of over 2,000 volumes off...