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South African
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by Tom Sutcliffe
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Fishing the Margins
The Rapture of the River,
The Autobiography of a
South African Fisherman

Fishing Wider Margins Cover

Fishing Wider Margins

Fishing Wider Margins

Fishing Wider Margins
By Paul Curtis

A high quality paperback with flaps.
Extent: 520 pages (130 in colour)
Size: 168mm x 240mm
Published and distributed by Platanna Press
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Platanna Press announces the launch of Paul Curtis's long-awaited new bibliography and history of African sport fishing, Fishing Wider Margins. It is a book designed to be of great interest not only to serious collectors of angling books and historians but also to anyone who has a passion for fishing Africa's fresh and salt waters. Fishing Wider Margins is also stocked by selected angling and book shops.


Lists of fishing books are generally pretty dull affairs – and I say that as a bibliophile. If I need to check the publication date of Skues' Itchen Memories, know more about a particular edition of The Compleat Angler or whether a Tales of Fishing Virgin Seas by Zane Grey is truly a first edition, I know where to look.

But these reference books are not the ones you turn to for intellectual stimulation. To send you to sleep, maybe – but not for entertainment, nor to enjoy the pleasures of sparkling writing.

That's why Paul Curtis's Fishing Wider Margins is so refreshing. It's not a dull list of book name, date published, number of pages and details of limited editions. Rather than merely cataloguing, he has given the hundreds of works listed here an added dimension and even (rarity among rarities in the bibliographical world) included photographs.

Traditionalists may huff and puff. But seeing what a dust jacket looks like is extremely useful. Finding out if your copy has its original binding rather than a later addition affects not just value but aesthetics. And some of these early books conceal some truly wonderful photographs.

Trout Fishing in NatalHowever, the real pleasure of Fishing Wider Margins is that it is far more than a catalogue of books; it is the first history of fshing in Africa. The continent has undergone huge turmoil, probably more so in the past century than at any time. At one time, the fshing was incredible, as a trawl through the books here will show...

That's the pleasure of Fishing Wider Margins. It sets things in context, reveals little gems about the authors, relates anecdotes that lift these books from a list of names and dates to a highly readable addition to angling literature.

And for those who are of a collecting bent, this will surely prove an invaluable companion. As I write this, a 28-page pamphlet entitled Trout Fishing In Natal has just sold at auction for $1 800. Its owner was going to throw it away because he thought it had no interest. Now, wouldn't you like to find something like that?

Paul Curtis grew up in Port Elizabeth and has been a fanatical fisherman since his childhood. His mania for reading and then collecting angling books was a natural progression of this fishing bug.

His serious collecting originally focused on South African fly fishing but gradually expanded into all fishing books, about all types of fishing, anywhere in Africa. Paul has written, or collaborated on, several fishing books published by Platanna Press in South Africa. He has also edited and project managed several highly regarded fishing books since he moved to the UK in 2010.

He currently lives on a mountain in Snowdonia, Wales, with his wife, Ronni, and a labradoodle called Gus.

Sneak preview

A small taste of what you’ll get from Fishing Wider Margins

Early Days
The First African'Angling' Books
Colonial Fever – Looking To 'Home'
Between the Wars
Stalking Books
Glory Days
The Flyfishing Renaissance
Magazines, Scientific Papers and Other Ephemera



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