While on a tour of Scott’s glorious Abbotsford, Keith Harwood stumbled on the first hint of the writer’s life beyond poetry and literature, finding upon his hand-painted wallpaper the figure of an angler.
In this book Harwood explores Scott’s love of fishing, detailing beautifully how he first caught the angling bug, and how it played a part throughout his adult life.
Indeed, he cites how Scott passed his passion for field sports on to his youngest son, Charles, whose supposed ‘carelessness for the pony gun and fishing rod began to get the better of the classics’.
Harwood provides enough historical detail of Scott and his angling experience to quench the thirst of any field sports aficionado, but you needn’t be an angling fanatic to enjoy it.
With no fishing experience, I found it an enlightening read about a remarkable figure, interspersed with entertaining tales of how this literary giant had ‘an extraordinary talent’ for falling into fords and emerging unscathed.
Sir Walter Scott on Angling, by Keith Harwood, published by The Medlar Press, £25.