Fun Facts Friday: Edward Lear

May 12, 2023

Edward Lear (12 May, 1812 – 29 January, 1888) was a poet, author, musician, and artist from England. Today he is remembered for his nonsense collections in the Book of Nonsense which includes short stories, poems, songs, recipes and more.

Fun Facts Friday: Edward Lear
Books by Edward Lear*

Fun Facts about Edward Lear:

  1. Edward Lear was born in Holloway, North London to a middle class family. He had 20 siblings, and is the youngest one to survive. Raised by his sister Ann, 21 years older than him, and acted as his mom until she died around 70 years old.
  2. At age six, the young Mr. Lear’s health started suffering, and continued throughout his life. From seizures to partial blindness and melancholy.
  3. Mr Lear’s first book was a collection of drawings of parrots. Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots was published when he was 19 years old. By the time he was in his twenties, he was working for the Zoological Society and painting the animals of Earl of Derby.
  4. At some point, Mr. Lear decided to paint landscapes, and traveled through Europe and Asia between 1837 and 1847. He published the paintings in several volumes called The Illustrated Travels of a Landscape Painter. Those books were received very well by both consumers and critics, however they are largely forgotten these days.
  5. In 1846 Edward Lear published his first book of poems, and one of his most famous one, called A Book of Nonsense .
  6. Edward Lear was also an excellent musician and composer. He set his own poems to music, as well as other poets of the time such as his friend Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
  7. A Book of Nonsense had popularized the limerick, a funny poem which consists of only five lines.
  8. The most famous poem in A Book of Nonsense is called The Owl and the Pussycat. The poem is one of the best examples we have of Victorian nonsense verse. Lear wrote the poem for three-year-old Jane Symonds. The poem coined the word “runcible”, but to this day no one is really sure of its meaning,
  9. Mr. Lear loved the Aldiborontiphoskyphorniostikos, a game containing tongue twisting challenges. The game inspired him to introduce himself as “Mr Abebika kratoponoko Prizzikalo Kattefello Ablegorabalus Ableborinto phashyph” or “Chakonoton the Cozovex Dossi Fossi Sini Tomentilla Coronilla Polentilla Battledore & Shuttlecock Derry down Derry Dumps”.
  10. Edward Lear died in San Remo, Italy where he was permanently living at the time in a villa he called “Villa Tennyson”. He is buried in San Remo, at the Cemetery Foce near his beloved Mediterranean.

Books by Edward Lear*

Zohar – Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

Sources:

Aldiborontiphoskyphorniostikos| Wikipedia

Edward Lear | poets.org

Edward Lear: Facts and Information | primary facts.com

Edward Lear | Wikipedia

Five Fascinating Facts about Edward Lear – Interesting Literature

A Short Analysis of Edward Lear’s ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’

What is a Limerick? 75 Funny, Creative Limericks (That Might Just Inspire You To Write Your Own!) | Parade

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Fun Facts Friday: Edward Lear
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Fun Facts Friday: Edwared Lear
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Edward Lear (12 May, 1812 – 29 January, 1888) was a poet, author, musician, and artist from England. e Today he is remembered for his nonsense collections in the Book of Nonsense which includes short stories, poems, songs, recipes and more.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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