'Nonsense is the breath of my nostrils', wrote Edward Lear (1812-88), and this collection demonstrates the wonderfully varied ways in which he pursued his philosophy of life. He created an extraordinary world filled with bizarre creatures - from the Dong with a luminous nose to the Pobble who has no toes - who misbehave with joyful abandon. Here can be found such exuberant and timeless verse as 'The Owl and the Pussy-cat', 'The Quangle Wangle's Hat' and numerous comic limericks, along with stories, letters, alphabets and recipes, all accompanied throughout with his fantastical line drawings. Gently pointing out human follies and the absurdities of the conventional Victorian society in which he lived, Lear's nonsense has enchanted children and adults alike for generations.
Edward Lear (1812-88) originally earned his living as a commercial artist. A skilled landscape painter and ornothological illustrator, he was art master to Queen Victoria for a time. His nonsense writing began as a sideline to amuse himself and hisfriend's children but soon made him a household name. Vivien Noakes is the leading authority on Lear; editor of his Selected Letters (1988) and the definitive biography, she also curated the Lear exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1985.