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andrew potter
Edward Lear (12 May 1812 – 29 January 1888) was an English artist, illustrator, author and poet, and is renowned primarily for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose and especially his limericks, a form that he popularised. From childhood he suffered ill health, including epilepsy (of which he was ashamed) and depression. He travelled widely for much of his life, before settling in Sanremo. He never married, though he did propose it. Instead he suffered from an unreciprocated love affair with Sir Franklin Lushington, Chief Magistrate of London, who he had first met in Malta. He had many friends and a devoted pet cat. Yet when after a long decline in health, he died of heart disease, none of his friends were able to attend his funeral.

His most famous work, The Owl and the Pussy-cat, was written for Janet Symonds, the daughter of Lear's close friend, bisexual John Addington Symonds.

His principal areas of work as an artist were threefold: as a draughtsman employed to illustrate birds and animals; making coloured drawings during his journeys, which he reworked later, sometimes as plates for his travel books; as a (largely frustrated) illustrator of Tennyson's poems.

As an author, Lear is principally known for his popular nonsense works, rather than as a travel writer. These show a great ability to use with relish the sound of real and invented English words. He was particularly adept at surprising his readers, and, in his limericks, had a genius for doing so without resorting to shocking them.

Edward Lear has been portrayed in radio dramas by Andrew Sachs in The Need for Nonsense by Julia Blackburn (BBC Radio 4, 9 February 2009) and by Derek Jacobi in By the Coast of Coromandel by Lavinia Murray (BBC Radio 4, 21 December 2011).

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Lear

Further Readings:

After You, Mr. Lear: In the Wake of Edward Lear in Italy by Maldwin Drummond
Paperback: 237 pages
Publisher: Sheridan House (August 21, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1574092553
ISBN-13: 978-1574092554
Amazon: After You, Mr. Lear: In the Wake of Edward Lear in Italy

In the United States, Edward Lear is best remembered for his delightful limericks and other nonsense poetry. In 1996, Maldwin and his wife Gilly set off in their sailing yacht Gang Warily through the rivers and canals of France to the Mediterranean and south Italy to reach the scenes Lear had described in paint and in words.

Edward Lear (1812-1888) had many talents that this book recaptures. He was an artist, illustrator and a writer known for his nonsensical poetry and limericks, a form he popularized. He spent many years in Italy and he managed to paint the landscape, particularly the coast, in his drawings in a way that showed his admiration for the scenery and demonstrated his ability as a topographical artist. He is considered the original green tourist, advocating his way of wandering on foot with a sketchbook to capture the countryside and enjoy the people.

After You, Mr. Lear is a superbly illustrated work highlighting Lear s many talents with previously unpublished material.

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