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Mr Lear : A Life of Art and Nonsense - Jenny Uglow

Mr Lear

A Life of Art and Nonsense

Hardcover Published: 25th October 2017
ISBN: 9780571269549
Number Of Pages: 560

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A beautifully illustrated, literary appreciation of Edward Lear - best-known for his poem 'The Owl and the Pussycat' - and his 'nonsenses' by one of Britain's most highly regarded historians.

Edward Lear's poems follow and break the rules. They abide by the logic of syntax, the linking of rhyme and the dance of rhythm, and these 'nonsenses' are full of joy - yet set against darkness. Where do these human-like animals and birds and these odd adventures - some gentle, some violent, some musical, some wild - come from? His many drawings that accompany his verse are almost hyper-real, as if he wants to free the creatures from the page. They exist nowhere else in literature, springing only from Lear's imagination.

Lear lived all his life on the borders of rules and structures, of disciplines and desires. He vowed to ignore politics yet trembled with passionate sympathies. He depended on patrons and moved in establishment circles, yet he never belonged among them and mocked imperial attitudes. He loved men yet dreamed of marriage - but remained, it seems, celibate, wrapped in himself. Even in his family he was marginal, at once accepted and rejected. Surrounded by friends, he was alone.

If we follow him across land and sea - to Italy, Greece and Albania, to The Levant and Egypt and India - and to the borderlands of spirit and self, art and desire, can we see, in the end, if the nonsense makes sense? This is what Jenny Uglow has set sail to find out.

About the Author

Jenny Uglow 's books include prize-winning biographies of Elizabeth Gaskell, William Hogarth and Sarah Losh. The Lunar Men, published in 2002, was described by Richard Holmes as 'an extraordinarily gripping account', while Nature's Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick, won the National Arts Writers Award and A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Her most recent book is In These Times: Living in Britain through Napoleon's Wars, 1793-1815. She lives in Canterbury.

This book will stay with a fanily for many years


Having a family connection with Knowsley Hall this book was of special interest. I know know so much more about a writer who was part of my childhood, also of my children, grand children & great grand children. A book to treasure.

Western Australia.


Mr Lear

5.0 1


ISBN: 9780571269549
ISBN-10: 0571269540
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 560
Published: 25th October 2017
Publisher: FABER & FABER
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3  x 4.32
Weight (kg): 1.27

Earn 76 Qantas Points
on this Book