born Highgate, London 1812 - died San Remo, Italy 1888

Edward Lear must be one of the oddest figures in English literature. He was a serious landscape and ornithological painter yet is best known as the father of English 'nonsense'.

In his early twenties he spent four years painting the bird collection of the Earl of Derby. While doing this he used to write amusing limericks for the Earl's children and illustrate them with simple pen drawings many of which you will find on this site.
For a brief period he taught drawing to Queen Victoria.

He travelled a lot and spent a lot of time in France and especially in Italy where he bought a villa.

If you would like to know more about Edward Lear then the best web site is: You can also join the Edward Lear mailing list there.
For books, prints and other Lear Goodies go to our Lear Shop

What promises to be the best Edward Lear book is:
The Complete Verse and Other Nonsense

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Copyright © Paul Helm, 2001, all right reserved