Edward Lear

Biography of Edward Lear (1812 – 1888)

Edward Lear
Edward Lear (1812-1888)

Edward Lear (12 May 1812 – 29 January 1888) was a British artist, illustrator and writer known for his nonsensical poetry and his limericks, a form which he popularised. He was born in Highgate, a suburb of London, the 20th child of his parents and raised by his eldest sister, Ann, twenty-one years his senior. At the age of fifteen, he and his sister had to leave the family home and set up house together. He started work as a serious illustrator and his first publication, at the age of 19, was Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots in 1830. His paintings were well received and he was favorably compared with Audubon. Throughout his life he continued to paint seriously. He had a lifelong ambition to illustrate Tennyson’s poems; near the end of his life a volume with a small number of illustrations was published, but his vision for the work was never realised.

He did not keep good health. From the age of seven until the time of his death he suffered frequent grand mal epileptic seizures, as well as bronchitis, asthma, and in later life, partial blindness.

In 1846 he published A Book of Nonsense, a volume of limericks which went through three editions and helped popularise the form. In 1865 The History of the Seven Families of the Lake Pipple-Popple was published, and in 1867 his most famous piece of nonsense, The Owl and the Pussycat, which he wrote for the children of his patron Edward Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby. Many other works followed.

Biography By: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Edward Lear.

Poems By Edward Lear


How pleasant to know Mr. Lear (No Comments »)
The Akond of Swat (No Comments »)
The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo (No Comments »)
The Dong with a Luminous Nose (No Comments »)
The Jumblies (No Comments »)
The Owl And The Pussy-Cat (No Comments »)
The Pobble Who Has No Toes (No Comments »)
The Table And The Chair (No Comments »)
The Two Old Bachelors (No Comments »)
There was a Young Lady Whose Eyes (No Comments »)
There Was an Old Lady Whose Folly (No Comments »)
There Was an Old Man in a Tree (No Comments »)
There was an Old Man of Calcutta (No Comments »)
There was an Old Man of New York (No Comments »)
There was an old man of Thermopylæ (No Comments »)
There was an old man on the Border (No Comments »)
There Was an Old Man with a Beard (No Comments »)
There Was An Old Person Of Nice (No Comments »)

A Book of Nonsense Poetry

The Quangle Wangle’s Hat (No Comments »)