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An Angler's Autobiography [The Author's Manuscript]. The Halford Dry Fly Series Volume IV
London, 1903 - The original manuscript of the autobiography of Frederic M. Halford (1844- 1914), author and angler of the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras whose writings and systematic approach to the dry fly profoundly influenced fly-fishing around the world. His series of books, beginning with Floating Flies (1886) and Dry-Fly Fishing in Theory and Practice (1889), and including Making a Fishery (1895) and Dry-Fly Entomology (1897), established his reputation and made a legendary figure of the somewhat reserved Halford. His autobiography appeared in 1903 as volume four of the standard edition of his writings and was widely reviewed. He published two further works, Modern Development of the Dry Fly (1910) and The Dry-Fly Man's Handbook (1913) Halford wrote in a clean and highly legible hand, with occasional small interpolations or deletions. His friend and fishing companion William Senior, editor of The Field, wrote an introduction and read the book in manuscript. His pencilled comments appear regularly and made a material contribution to the book. In Chapter V, where Halford wrote rather tersely "We consulted all the local anglers as to flies & soon picked up the rudiments of dry fly fishing," Senior commented "give 'my friend' an initial - expand learning process." Halford did so, identifying his friend as "L.", and the passage runs to two paragraphs (pp. 39-40 of the published book) In other instances, Senior disputed some of Halford's propositions, and the finished book demonstrates how this discourse shaped Halford's text. Chapter VII, "Fishing the Sunk Fly," opens with a passage in which Halford distinguished between an angler who stalks a feeding fish, "evidently intended by nature to be a votary of the floating fly" and the angler "'fishing a stream' on the chance of tempting the lively little trout . as evidently a born adherent of the sunk fly." Senior commented "not quite fair as dry-fly often impossible - the biggest fish caught wet (U.S. & N.Z.)". In the published book (p. 65), Halford incorporated Senior's critique: 'some of my friends whose experience of fly fishing, wet and dry, is far greater than my own, condemn my opinions. They urge, no doubt with good foundation, the argument that in some rivers the dry fly is impossible .". Halford was clearly aware that anglers did not always follow his theoretical line, long before publication of Skues' Minor Tactics brought the differences to the fore AN ANGLING MANUSCRIPT OF UNPARALLELED SIGNIFICANCE 4to. Pen and ink on paper, 244 pp. neatly and closely written in Halford's hand, and signed by him on the title page. With the nine-page autograph manuscript of the introduction by William Senior, and his occasional marginal comments to text. Gathered in preliminaries and 16 chapters, each secured with a brass clip. Some occasional light soiling of top leaves, else fine and legible entirely. In custom morocco backed slipcase and chemise. cf. Hayter, F. M. Halford and the Dry-Fly Revolution (2002), pp. 196-7
      [Bookseller: James Cummins Bookseller, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2014-06-17           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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