|Born||28 April 1630|
|Died||16 February 1687 56)(aged|
|Known for||Translation of Montaigne;|
The Compleat Gamester
Charles Cotton (28 April 1630 – 16 February 1687) was an English poet and writer, best known for translating the work of Michel de Montaigne from French, for his contributions to The Compleat Angler , and for the influential The Compleat Gamester  attributed to him.
He was born in Alstonefield, Staffordshire, at Beresford Hall, near the Derbyshire Peak District. His father, Charles Cotton the Elder, was a friend of Ben Jonson, John Selden, Sir Henry Wotton and Izaak Walton. The son was apparently not sent to university, but was tutored by Ralph Rawson, one of the fellows ejected from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1648. Cotton travelled in France and perhaps in Italy, and at the age of twenty-eight he succeeded to an estate greatly encumbered by lawsuits during his father's lifetime. Like many Royalist gentlemen after the English Civil War the rest of his life was spent chiefly in quiet country pursuits, in Cotton's case in the Peak District and North Staffordshire. His Voyage to Ireland in Burlesque (1670) states that he held a Captain's commission and served in Ireland. 
His friendship with Izaak Walton began about 1655, and contradicts any assumptions about Cotton's character based on his coarse burlesques of Virgil and Lucian.[ clarification needed ] Walton's initials, made into a cipher with Cotton's own, were placed over the door of Cotton's fishing cottage on the Dove near Hartington. Cotton contributed a second section "Instructions how to angle for a trout or grayling in a clear stream", to Walton's The Compleat Angler ;   the additions consisted of twelve chapters on fishing in clear water, which he understood largely but not exclusively to be fly fishing. Another addition to the volume was Cotton's well-known poem "The Retirement", which appeared from the 5th edition onwards.
In 1656, he married his cousin Isabella Hutchinson, the daughter of Thomas Hutchinson, M.P. for Nottingham. She was a half-sister of Col. John Hutchinson; They had one child, Catherine Cotton, who married Sir Berkeley Lucy, 3rd Baronet. Isebella (Hutchinson) Cotton, died in 1670. At the request of his wife's sister, Miss Stanhope Hutchinson, he undertook the translation of Pierre Corneille's Horace in 1671. In 1675, he married the dowager Countess of Ardglass; she had a jointure of £1500 a year, but he did not have the power to spend it. 
The 1674 first edition of The Compleat Gamester is attributed to Cotton by publishers of later editions, to which additional, post-Cotton material was added in 1709 and 1725, along with some updates to the rules Cotton had described earlier. The book was considered the "standard" English-language reference work on the playing of games – especially gambling games, and including billiards, card games, dice, horse racing and cock fighting, among others – until the publication of Edmond Hoyle's Mr. Hoyle's Games Complete in 1750, which outsold Cotton's then-obsolete work. 
At Cotton's death in 1687 he was insolvent and left his estates to his creditors. He was buried in St James's Church, Piccadilly, on 16 February 1687. 
Cotton's reputation as a burlesque writer may account for the neglect with which the rest of his poems have been treated. Their excellence was not, however, overlooked by good critics. Coleridge praises the purity and unaffectedness of his style in Biographia Literaria, and Wordsworth (Preface, 1815) gave a copious quotation from the "Ode to Winter". The "Retirement" is printed by Walton in the second part of the Compleat Angler. 
He was a Derbyshire man who loved the Peak District and wrote a long topographic poem describing it: his father had moved there from the south of England, to live on his wife's estates. In Cotton's day, in the decades after the Civil War, the inaccessibility of good fishing spots was physical as well as legal. The opening chapters of his section of the Compleat Angler draw Cotton and his friend across a savage and mountainous landscape. The friend, who will be taught fly-fishing, expresses doubt as to whether they are still in Christendom:
They come at length to the sheltered valley in which stands Cotton's house and fishing hut. It is the first description of paradise in fishing history. "It stands in a kind of peninsula, with a delicate clear river about it." There Cotton and his friend breakfast on ale and a pipe of tobacco to give them the strength to wield their rods. For a trout river, he says, a rod of five or six yards should be long enough. In fact, "longer, though never so neatly and artificially made, it ought not to be, if you intend to fish at ease".
Though he used a light line of carefully tapered horse-hair, Cotton's rod, of solid wood, was heavy. His description of the sport differs from modern fly-casting, which began with the arrival of heavy dressed-silk lines 200 years later. On windy days, he advises his guest to fish the pools because in the rapids, where the gorge of the Dove is narrower, the wind will be too strong for fishing.
Some of Cotton's advice is still useful, as when he tells his guest to fish "fine and far off"; and he argues for small and neat flies, carefully dressed, over the bushy productions of London tackle-dealers. The flies which catch fish will always look wrong to the untrained eye, because they look too small and too delicate.
Cotton's dressings are made with bear hair and camel's under fur, the soft bristles from inside a black hog's ear, and from dog's tails. "What a heap of trumpery is here!" cries his visitor, when Cotton's dubbing bag is opened. "Certainly never an angler in Europe has his shop half so well-finished as you have."
Cotton replies with the touchiness of a true obsessive: "Let me tell you, here are some colours, contemptible as they seem here, that are very hard to be got; and scarce any one of them, which, if it should be lost, I should not miss and be concerned about the loss of it too, once in the year."
Cotton devotes a whole chapter to collection of flies for every month of the year. Few have modern analogues, but they are based on accurate observation, as with his stonefly:
In Montana, the fish still rise to stoneflies until the water is "continually all over circles", but in the UK it is an anachronism. Cotton's Derbyshire is more remote from modern England, and closer to the wilderness than Montana or Alaska are now. He is quite unashamed of bait fishing, whether with flies or with grubs. He kills fish until weary. "I have in this very river that runs by us, in three or four hours taken thirty, five and thirty, and forty of the best trouts in the river." And he concludes his advice with a note of earthy practicality not to be found as the sport becomes more refined: a recipe for fresh trout boiled with beer and horseradish.
Cotton loved nothing more than that his friends should share his delight. In the gorge of the Dove he had a private garden "with a delicate clear river about it" where the world was reduced to its simplest and best essentials.
His masterpiece in translation, the Essays of M. de Montaigne (1685–1686, 1693, 1700, etc.), has often been reprinted, and still maintains its reputation; his other works include The Scarronides, or Virgil Travestie (1664–1670), a gross burlesque of the first and fourth books of the Aeneid, which ran through fifteen editions; Burlesque upon Burlesque, ... being some of Lucian's Dialogues newly put into English fustian (1675); The Moral Philosophy of the Stoicks (1667), from the French of Guillaume du Vair; The History of the Life of the Duke d'Espernon (1670), from the French of G Girard; the Commentaries (1674) of Blaise de Montluc; the Planter's Manual (1675), a practical book on arboriculture, in which he was an expert; The Wonders of the Peake (1681); the Compleat Gamester and The Fair one of Tunis, both dated 1674, are also assigned to Cotton. 
Here is Cotton's epitaph for "M.H.", a prostitute (spacing, spelling and capitalisation as originally printed):
Epitaph upon M.H
In this cold Monument lies one,
That I know who has lain upon,
The happier He : her Sight would charm,
And Touch have kept King David warm.
Lovely, as is the dawning East ,
Was this Marble's frozen Guest;
As soft, and Snowy, as that Down
Adorns the Blow-balls frizled Crown;
As straight and slender as the Crest,
Or Antlet of the one beam'd Beast;
Pleasant as th' odorous Month of May :
As glorious, and as light as Day .
Whom I admir'd, as soon as knew,
And now her Memory pursue
With such a superstitious Lust,
That I could fumble with her Dust.
She all Perfections had, and more,
Tempting, as if design'd a Whore ,
For so she was; and since there are
Such, I could wish them all as fair.
Pretty she was, and young, and wise,
And in her Calling so precise,
That Industry had made her prove
The sucking School-Mistress of Love :
And Death, ambitious to become
Her Pupil, left his Ghastly home,
And, seeing how we us'd her here,
The raw-bon'd Rascal ravisht her.
Who, pretty Soul, resign'd her Breath,
To seek new Letchery in Death.
William Oldys contributed a life of Cotton to Hawkins's edition (1760) of the Compleat Angler. His Lyrical Poems were edited by J. R. Tutin in 1903, from an original edition of 1689. Cotton's translation of Montaigne was edited in 1892, and in a more elaborate form in 1902, by W. C. Hazlitt, who omitted or relegated to the notes the passages in which Cotton interpolates his own matter, and supplied Cotton's omissions. 
Benjamin Britten set Cotton's The Evening Quatrains to music in his Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings in 1943.
Andrew Millar, the prominent 18th century London bookseller, purchased a copyright share from John Osborne in a new, fifth, edition of Cotton's The Genuine Poetical Works. Thus, Cotton's poetry remained popular and profitable well into the eighteenth century, partly due to his clever "burlesques" of famous works from classical literature. 
Charles Cotton was buried in St James's Church, Piccadilly. A memorial to him is also found within the church.
Izaak Walton was an English writer. Best known as the author of The Compleat Angler, he also wrote a number of short biographies including one of his friend John Donne. They have been collected under the title of Walton's Lives.
Fly fishing is an angling method that uses a light-weight lure—called an artificial fly—to catch fish. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. The light weight requires casting techniques significantly different from other forms of casting. The flies may resemble natural invertebrates, bait-fish, or other food organisms.
The brown trout is a European species of salmonid fish that has been widely introduced into suitable environments globally. It includes purely freshwater populations, referred to as the riverine ecotype, Salmo trutta morpha fario, a lacustrine ecotype, S. trutta morpha lacustris, also called the lake trout, and anadromous forms known as the sea trout, S. trutta morpha trutta. The latter migrates to the oceans for much of its life and returns to fresh water only to spawn. Sea trout in Ireland and Britain have many regional names: sewin in Wales, finnock in Scotland, peal in the West Country, mort in North West England, and white trout in Ireland.
Recreational fishing, also called sport fishing or game fishing, is fishing for leisure, exercise or competition. It can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is professional fishing for profit; or subsistence fishing, which is fishing for survival and livelihood.
The Compleat Angler is a book by Izaak Walton, first published in 1653 by Richard Marriot in London. Walton continued to add to it for a quarter of a century. It is a celebration of the art and spirit of fishing in prose and verse.
Alstonefield is a village and civil parish in the Peak District National Park and the Staffordshire Moorlands district of Staffordshire, England about 7 miles (11 km) north of Ashbourne, 10 miles (16 km) east of Leek and 16 miles (26 km) south of Buxton. The parish had a population of 274 according to the 2001 census, increasing to 304 at the 2011 census.
An artificial fly or fly lure is a type of fishing lure, usually used in the sport of fly fishing. In general, artificial flies are an imitation of aquatic insects that are natural food of the target fish species the fly fishers try to catch. Artificial flies are constructed by fly tying, in which furs, feathers, thread or any of very many other materials are tied onto a fish hook.
This general annotated bibliography page provides an overview of notable and not so notable works in the English language regarding the sport of fly fishing, listed by year of first publication. Although not all the listed books are devoted exclusively to fly fishing, all these titles contain significant fly fishing content. The focus of the present page is on classic general texts on fly fishing and its history, together with notable public or university library collections dedicated to fly fishing.
Put, occasionally Putt, is an English tavern game first recorded in the 16th century and later castigated by 17th century moralists as one of ill repute. It belongs to a very ancient family of trick-taking card games and bears close similarities a group known as Truc, Trut,Truque, also Tru, and the South American game Truco. Its more elaborate cousin is the Catelan and Spanish game of Truc, which is still much played in many parts of Southern France and Spain.
A History of Fly Fishing for Trout is a fly fishing book written by John Waller Hills published in London in 1921.
Floating Flies and How to Dress Them - A Treatise on the Most Modern Methods of Dressing Artificial Flies for Trout and Grayling with Full Illustrated Directions and Containing Ninety Hand-Coloured Engravings of the Most Killing Patterns Together with a Few Hints to Dry-Fly Fishermen is a fly fishing book written by Frederic M. Halford published in London in April 1886 by Sampson Low. A deluxe edition on large paper sold out before publication and the trade edition of 500 nearly so.
Dan Bailey was a fly-shop owner, innovative fly developer and staunch Western conservationist. Born on a farm near Russellville, Kentucky, Bailey is best known for the fly shop he established in Livingston, Montana in 1938. Dan Bailey's Fly Shop is still in business.
This annotated bibliography is intended to list both notable and not so notable works of English language, non-fiction and fiction related to the sport of fly fishing listed by year published. Although 100% of any book listed is not necessarily devoted to fly fishing, all these titles have significant fly fishing content. Included in this bibliography is a list of fly tying, fly tackle, regional guides, memoirs, stories and fly fishing fiction related literature.
Dry-Fly Fishing in Theory and Practice (1889) is British author and angler Frederic M. Halford's second and most influential book on dry fly fishing. It followed Floating Flies and How to Dress Them (1886) and this pair of books initiated some 40 years of a rigid, and sometimes dogmatic school, the Halfordian school, of dry fly fishing, especially on English chalk streams. The work also played a significant role in the development of dry-fly fishing in America.
Fly Fishing, first published in 1899 by English author and diplomat Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon (1862–1933), is a book about fly fishing English chalk streams and spate rivers for trout and salmon. It includes reminisces about the author's fly fishing experiences on Hampshire rivers. The book was in print for nearly 50 years and has been extensively reprinted in the 21st century.
The Compleat Gamester, first published in 1674, is one of the earliest known English-language games compendia. It was published anonymously, but later attributed to Charles Cotton (1630–1687). Further editions appeared in the period up to 1754 before it was eclipsed by Mr. Hoyle's Games by Edmond Hoyle (1672–1769).
Penneech or Peneech, sometimes called Penicth, is an unusual historical English card game for two players played with hands of seven cards. English point-trick games are rare anyway, but the unique feature of this game is that the trump suit changes with each trick. Parlett describes it as a "jolly little two-hander".
Queen Nazarene or Queen Nazareen is an old English card game recorded by Charles Cotton as early as 1674. It is an ancestor of Newmarket.
Wit and Reason is an historical English card game for two players that "seems easy at first to the learner, but in his practice and observation he will find it otherwise." It is reminiscent of Thirty-One.