The Compleat Angler
by Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton (read by various)
Naxos Audiobooks

Why should anyone care about a spiritual fishing manual published in 1653? If this well-judged audio book doesn’t pique your interest, nothing will. Suitably old-sounding music introduces the first of several honey-toned English actors. And few tones come more honeyed than those of Derek Jacobi, who reads Izaak Walton’s intro­duction. “I have made myself a recreation of a recreation; and that it might prove so to him, and not read dull and tediously, I have in several places mixed, not any scurrility, but some innocent, harmless mirth.” One senses wordless calm is Walton’s aim: “Angling was, after tedious study, a rest to his mind, a cheerer of his spirits, a diverter of sadness, a calmer of unquiet thoughts, a moderator of passions, a procurer of contentedness.”