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Edward Lear

Edward Lear (1812-1888) was a true English renaissance man: artist, musician, writer and poet, best known for his literary nonsense poetry, songs, recipes, and alphabets. He made limericks a popular form. Lear’s artistic abilities were diverse: draughtsman quality illustrations of birds and animals, scientifically accurate botanical drawings and plates in his travel books, and poetry illustrations as well as musical compositions for Alfred Tennyson’s work.
Lear’s series of nonsense books were popular in his life time and continue to be read by early readers today. Enjoy sharing his timeless poems and illustrations featured at American Literature in his collections: The Jumblies, and Other Nonsense Verses (1910?), and Nonsense Drolleries: Owl & the Pussy Cat and the Duck and the Kangaroo (1889).


  • Calico Pie
  • Incidents in the Life of My Uncle Arly
  • The Broom, The Shovel, the Poker and the Tongs
  • The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo
  • The Cummerbund
  • The Dong with a Luminous Nose
  • The Duck and the Kangaroo
  • The Jumblies
  • The New Vestments
  • The Owl and the Pussy-Cat