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Short poem

Selected Poetry of Edward Lear (1812-1888)

from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and the hands are blue
And they went to sea in a sieve.
        (The Dong with a Luminous Nose, 36-39)
  1. The Dong with a Luminous Nose
  2. The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
  3. The Quangle Wangle's Hat
  4. There was a Young Lady Whose Eyes
  5. There was an Old Man of Calcutta
  6. There was an Old Man of New York
  7. There was an Old Man of Thermopylæ
  8. There was an Old Man on the Border
  9. There was an Old Man with a Beard
  10. There was an Old Person of Nice

Notes on Life and Works

Born on May 12, 1812, in London, Edward Lear as a teenager found artistic work drawing zoological specimens for illustrated books. One of his patrons was the earl of Derby, for whose children he devised the Book of Nonsense, published in 1846, the year after he had given drawing lessons to Queen Victoria. After 1837 he left England, returning only occasionally until his death at San Remo in January 1888. Lear suffered from epilepsy and depression. His original nonsense book went through several dozen editions, and he published as well Nonsense Songs and Stories (1871), More Nonsense Songs, Pictures, &tc. (1872), Laughable Lyrics (1877), and Nonsense Botany and Nonsense Alphabets. Lear's letters are edited by Viven Noakes in 1988 (Oxford: Clarendon Press; PR 4879 .L2Z73). Peter Levi's Edward Lear: A Biography (London: Macmillan, 1995; PR 4879 .L2Z73) is a recent life.

Biographical information

Given name: Edward
Family name: Lear
Birth date: 12 May 1812
Death date: January 1888
Nationality: English
Language: English
Literary period: Victorian
          San Remo to January 1888
          Holloway, London: 12 May 1812
          Knowsley: 1832 to 1836
          Rome: 1837
Buried at: San Remo
First RPO edition: 1998