Buller Dame Juliana

Fred Buller and Hugh Falkus - Dame Juliana: The Angling Treatyse and its Mysteries

Flyfisher’s Classic Library 2001

This book on the Treatyse was a long time coming; thirty years after Barry Shurlock first attempted to commission the authors to put pen to paper, it finally saw the light of day. There were many trials and tribulations in between, not least Hugh’s death in 1997, but the result is a fishing classic that every angler with the slightest interest in our heritage should own.

Falkus and Buller’s research began decades ago, before the ground surrounding the ruins at Sopwell was blighted by a choking modern development. Today, the ivy-clad ruins brood in the little space remaining to them and it is hard to imagine that one of the most influential books ever written about fishing might have been penned there.

After a brief chapter setting out the circumstances of the printing of the Treatyse, the book sets out the case for the existence of presumed author (Dame Juliana Berners), followed by a line by line translation of the original, and chapters on the tackle, baits and flies described those five long centuries ago. There is an hilarious picture of Fred J. Taylor fishing with a rod Bill Arnold made to the exact specifications given in the Treatyse – here I can’t help wondering if the original text should have been taken completely at face value – and there are some glorious colour plates which range from frescoes to baits. Now out of print and appreciating fast.