I found the book admirable, valuable, and annoying as hell. The present note will not be a review, but only a few stray thoughts. When people write about Victorian nonsense, they tend to take one of two stances.
Lear by Wilhelm Marstrand Lear was born into a middle-class family at HollowayNorth London, the penultimate of 21 children and youngest to survive of Ann Clark Skerrett and Jeremiah Lear, a stockbroker formerly working for the family sugar refining business.
Jeremiah Lear ended up defaulting to the London Stock Exchange in the economic upheaval following the Napoleonic Wars;  owing to the family's now more limited finances, Lear and his sister were required to leave the family home, Bowmans Lodge, and live together when he was aged four.
Ann doted on Edward and continued to act as a mother for him until her death, when he was almost 50 years of age.
From the age of six he suffered frequent grand mal epileptic seizuresand bronchitisasthmaand during later life, partial blindness.
Lear experienced his first seizure at a fair near Highgate with his father. The event scared and embarrassed him. Lear felt lifelong guilt and shame for his epileptic condition. His adult diaries indicate that he always sensed the onset of a seizure in time to remove himself from public view.
When Lear was about seven years old he began to show signs of depression, possibly due to Essays on edward lear and nonsense instability of his childhood. He suffered from periods of severe melancholia which he referred to as "the Morbids. He was the first major bird artist to draw birds from real live birds, instead of skins.
Lear's first publication, published when he was 19 years old, was Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots in His eyesight deteriorated too much to work with such precision on the fine drawings and etchings of plates used in lithography, thus he turned to landscape painting and travel.
While travelling he produced large quantities of coloured wash drawings in a distinctive style, which he converted later in his studio into oil and watercolour paintings, as well as prints for his books.
Between and Lear spent his summers on Monte Generosoa mountain on the border between the Swiss canton of Ticino and the Italian region of Lombardy. 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.
In personal notes, together with drawings, Lear gathered his impressions on the Italian way of life, folk traditions, and the beauty of the ancient monuments. Of particular interest to Lear was the Abruzzowhich he visited inthrough the Marsica Celano, Avezzano, Alba FucensTrasacco and the plateau of Cinque Miglia Castel di Sangro and Alfedenaby an old sheep track of the shepherds.
Lear drew a sketch of the medieval village of Albe with Mount Sirente, and described the medieval village of Celano, with the castle of Piccolomini dominating the vast plain of Lago Fucino, which was drained a few years later to promote agricultural development. At Castel di Sangro, Lear described the winter stillness of the mountains and the beautiful basilica.
Composer and musician[ edit ] Lear ina year before his death. Lear primarily played the piano, but he also played the accordion, flute, and guitar. He composed music for many Romantic and Victorian poems, but was known mostly for his many musical settings of Tennyson's poetry.
He published four settings infive inand three in Lear's were the only musical settings that Tennyson approved of. While he never played professionally, he did perform his own nonsense songs and his settings of others' poetry at countless social gatherings, sometimes adding his own lyrics as with the song "The Nervous Family"and sometimes replacing serious lyrics with nursery rhymes.
He met the young barrister in Malta in and then toured southern Greece with him. Lear developed an infatuation for him that Lushington did not wholly reciprocate. Although they remained friends for almost forty years, until Lear's death, the disparity of their feelings constantly tormented Lear.
Indeed, Lear's attempts at male companionship were not always successful; the very intensity of Lear's affections may have doomed these relationships. For companions he relied instead on friends and correspondents, and especially, during later life, on his Albanian Souliote chef, Giorgis, a faithful friend and, as Lear complained, a thoroughly unsatisfactory chef.
San Remo and death[ edit ] Lear travelled widely throughout his life and eventually settled in San Remoon his beloved Mediterranean coast, in the s, at a villa he named "Villa Tennyson. After a long decline in his health, Lear died at his villa in of heart diseasefrom which he had suffered since at least Lear's funeral was said to be a sad, lonely affair by the wife of Dr.
Hassall, Lear's physician, none of Lear's many lifelong friends being able to attend. With such a pencil, such a pen. You shadow'd forth to distant men, I read and felt that I was there.
Lear's birthplace area is now marked with a plaque at Bowman's Mews, Islington, in London, and his bicentenary during was celebrated with a variety of events, exhibitions and lectures in venues across the world including an International Owl and Pussycat Day on his birth anniversary.
Howatke, by Edward Lear, In Lear published A Book of Nonsensea volume of limericks which went through three editions and helped popularize the form and the genre of literary nonsense.Essays and criticism on Edward Lear - Critical Essays.
Edward Lear is known as the founder of nonsense literature, and he has never been surpassed in that genre. Literary nonsense (or nonsense literature) is a broad categorization of literature that balances elements that make sense with some that do not, with the effect of subverting language conventions or logical reasoning.
Free Essays words ( pages) Nonsense Is Defined by Its Inability to be Defined Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear's Alice in Wonderland Yet one of the greatest paradoxes is the transformation of Alice over the course of the novel as well as the transformation of the duchess.
Essays and criticism on Edward Lear's A Book of Nonsense - Critical Essays. Edward Lear is known as the founder of nonsense literature, and he has never been surpassed in that genre. Charles L.
Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) had the opportunity to learn from Lear, and Lear may. This gives a special position to Edward Lear, whose nonsense rhymes have just been edited by Mr R.L. Megroz, 1 who was also responsible for the Penguin edition a year or two before the war.
Lear was one of the first writers to deal in pure fantasy, with imaginary countries and made-up words, without any satirical purpose.