Edward Lear

British artist, illustrator, author and poet (1812-1888)

Edward Lear (12 May 1812 – 29 January 1888) was an English artist and poet, one of the founders of "poetry of nonsense", author of numerous popular absurdist limericks.

Lear in 1866

Biography change

Edward Lear was born on May 12, 1812 in the London suburb of Highgate. He was the 20th child in the family, and his older sister Ann was involved in his upbringing. When Edward was 15 years old, he and his sister settled in a separate house. Being a talented artist, Lear began working as a book illustrator. At the age of 19, he published his first book, Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots, 1830.

Since childhood, Lear had poor health - he suffered from epilepsy, asthma, and in adulthood, partial loss of vision was added to this.

In 1846, Lear published A Book of Nonsense (also translated as the Book of Nonsense or the Book of Nonsense), which included funny limericks. Soon this genre gained considerable popularity.

The style and plots of Lear's nonsense influenced the work of his contemporary, Lewis Carroll, the French surrealists, Russian Oberiuts (Daniil Kharms was Lear's admirer).

The poet died on January 29, 1888. Mentioned in the Beatles song "Paperback writer" (1966).