Clifford's Carp Chronicle
PASSIONATE about carp, rather than notching up numbers? If you have the slightest depth of interest in the fish we catch rather than just the end result, A History of Carp Fishing Revisited is the best addition you might ever make to your bookshelf. Following the acclaimed A History of Carp Fishing, written in 1992 by respected author, angler and publisher Kevin Clifford, Revisited is a giant of a book in all respects. It stretches to over 350 pages with a colossal number of simply breathtaking reproductions of historic paintings, drawings, maps and prints.
With the explosion of interest in carp angling both in the UK and worldwide since the 1960s, this book is a reminder that there is so much to know and understand from days long since gone. If your idea of carp angling history is black and white photos of Redmire Pool or the legacy of Donald Leney, you will not be disappointed. But more significantly, Kevin does a simply incredible job piecing together the key people, places and events in the five hundred years prior to any carp of historical note sliding into knotted nets at Bernithan Court.
From debate over the first introductions of carp to this country, the development and methods of Bohemian carp farming, identification issues over 'wild' and 'feral' carp and lost and current strains, there is a wealth of information to be gleaned. But no matter how complex the subject or involved the detail, it remains beautifully presented, easy to understand, and a pleasure to read.
There are gems of information buried within these pages that any carp angler will marvel at. Yes, you can find discussion on the Peterborough Electricity Cut, Mapperley Reservoir, the hair-rig and even Rod Hutchinson. But Kevin's real genius is displayed unearthing countless brilliant carp related matters that less skilled or committed researchers and writers would have missed by a country mile. Records of carp stocked into the River Thames as far back as 1895, and carp caught from the Thames as far back as 1739. Skilled engineer Robert Lochner being commissioned by Winston
Churchill to develop a portable, floating harbour and using Donald Leney's stock ponds to test the feasibility of what was to become the Mulberry Harbour successfully used for the D-Day landings in 1944. Or how about a diagram of a rod pod, drawn by Dick Walker in 1961, with a bite alarm at the front, and the centre bar a three foot section of broom handle. Put simply, there's a story on every page, making it compulsive reading.
History disappears if it is not documented and recorded. This book ensures carp fishing history will not disappear. It needs to be read, it deserves to be read and with only 1,000 copies printed, there aren't enough for hundreds to sit in bags or boxes as collectors' items where the depth and breadth of fishing history they contain can't be appreciated This is a book that carp fishing needed to have written, and the sport is richer for it having been written. An absolute, true literary delight.
Congratulations Kevin, all who read this book will thank you for it.
A History of Carp Fishing Revisited costs £40 plus p&p or £150 for a leatherbound (100 copies only). More details at www.carptalk-online.co.uk or 01430440624.
Review by Colin Davidson appeared in Anglers Mail February 2012 - check out www.anglersmail.co.uk for more from Colin