Edward Lear

Edward Lear (12 May 1812 – 29 January 1888) was a British artist, illustrator, author, and poet, renowned today 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 over much of his life before settling in Sanremo. He never managed to marry, though he did propose it, but he had good friends and doted on his cat. When, after a long decline in health, he died of heart disease, sadly, none of his friends was able to attend his funeral.

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.

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Famous quotes containing the word lear:

    There was an old party of Lyme
    Who married three wives at one time.
    —Edward Lear (1812–1888)