Edward Lear

(12 May 1812 – 29 January 1888 / London / England)

Edward Lear
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Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator, author, and poet, renowned today primarily for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form that he popularised.


Lear was born into a middle-class family in the village of Holloway, the 21st child of Ann and Jeremiah Lear. He was raised by his eldest sister, also named Ann, 21 years his senior. Ann doted on Lear and continued to mother him until her death, when Lear was almost 50 years of age. Due to the family's failing financial fortune, at age four he and his sister had to leave the family home and set up house together.

Lear suffered from health problems. From ... more »

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  • Gold Star - 30,672 Points Sandra Feldman (8/9/2015 1:49:00 PM)

    When I was child, my dear mother read me lots of rhymes and poems for children which began my unending love for poetry. One of my favorites was The Pussy Cat and the Owl, still love it, but never bothered to find out who wrote it..After so many years, now I know it was Edward Lear, thanks to this wonderful site, Poem Hunter.

  • Rookie Michael Baker (1/1/2013 4:18:00 AM)

    Where is The Owl and the pussycat? .

  • Rookie Christine Pointer (10/26/2005 4:43:00 PM)

    When I was in junior school I did not attend assemblies with the other children because of my religion. During the time that the others were singing hymns I was allowed to read my teachers precious copy of Edward Lear poems. This introduced me to the wonderful world of poetry and verse and of course reading. I found Mr. Lear's poems funny and endearing and full of visual delight.

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Best Poem of Edward Lear

How Pleasant To Know Mr. Lear

How pleasant to know Mr. Lear,
Who has written such volumes of stuff.
Some think him ill-tempered and queer,
But a few find him pleasant enough.

His mind is concrete and fastidious,
His nose is remarkably big;
His visage is more or less hideous,
His beard it resembles a wig.

He has ears, and two eyes, and ten fingers,
(Leastways if you reckon two thumbs);
He used to be one of the singers,
But now he is one of the dumbs.

He sits in a beautiful parlour,
With hundreds of books on the wall;
He drinks a great deal of marsala, ...

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