Walton, Izaak, 1593–1683, English writer. He wrote one of the most famous books in the English language, The Compleat Angler; or, the Contemplative Man's Recreation. The first edition appeared in 1653, and it was reissued frequently with additional material; the last edition in Walton's lifetime appeared in 1676. The book not only describes the technique of angling, but draws a picture of peace and simple virtue that was Walton's protest against the civil wars taking place at the time. He also wrote several biographies, including ones of John Donne (1640), Sir Henry Wotton (1651), and George Herbert (1670), all of whom were his friends.
See study by D. Novarr (1958); J. R. Cooper, The Art of The Compleat Angler (1968).