Edward Lear Resources

Edward Lear Resources

John Cousin tells us that Edward Lear (1812-1888) was an “artist and miscellaneous author [who was born] in London and settled in Rome as a landscape painter. He was an indefatigable traveller, and wrote accounts, finely illustrated, of his journeys in Italy, Greece, and Corsica. His best known works are, however, his Book of Nonsense (1840) (full of wit and good sense), More Nonsense Rhymes (1871), and Laughable Lyrics (1876).” Lushington points out that “the paradoxical originality and ostentatiously uneducated draughtsmanship [drawings] of his numerous nonsense books won him a more universal fame than his serious work.”

Lear's own illustration for his poem, "How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear!" (Lear portrays himself at right)

Lear’s own illustration for his poem,
“How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear!”

(Lear portrays himself at right)

Enjoy a few of his nonsense works posted on the Excellence in Literature website:

“The Jumblies”

“The Owl and the Pussy-Cat”

Biographical sources:

Cousin, John W. A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: Dent, 1910. Project Gutenberg. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.

Lushington, Sir Franklin. “Lear, Edward.” The Encyclopædia Britannica. 11th ed. 1911. Wikisource 1911 encyclopedia project. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.


If you enjoyed these poems, you may also like Lewis Carroll’s light verse.


When will you read Edward Lear’s writing in Excellence in Literature?

You will study Edward Lear in EIL Unit 2 (Literature and Composition)