Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense

We know Edward Lear as a genius of nonsense, full of shocks and surprises, and as a poet of strange loves: the Owl and the Pussy Cat, the Duck and the Kangaroo. We may know him too, for his astounding paintings of parrots and owls, or for his luminous landscapes. But do we know that he taught Queen Victoria to draw, travelled alone across the wild Albanian mountains, or waded through muddy fields with Tennyson? Lear lived all his life on the borders of rules and structures, of disciplines and desires. Children adored him and adults loved him, yet somehow he was always alone. This beautiful volume, a fresh and joyful appreciation, follows Lear from his troubled childhood to his striving as an artist, tracking his swooping moods, passionate friendships and restless travels. And, as we follow him, his ‘nonsenses’ are elegantly unpicked - without losing any of their fun.

Published 5 October 2017

Jenny will be talking about Edward Lear at the following events:


Saturday 7th October: BBC History Weekend, Winchester

Sunday 8th October: Borderlines Book Festival, Carlisle

Friday 13th October: Cheltenham Literary Festival

Saturday 14th October: Thame Arts and Literature Festival

Thursday 9th November: Daunt Books, Marylebone, London

Friday 10th November: Ways with Words, Southwold

Tuesday 5th December: Faber Members evening, London



2nd-4th March: Aldeburgh Literary Festival

7th-8th April: Cambridge Literary Festival

You can order Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense now through Faber and Faber or through Amazon

ISBN-1: 9780571269549


Publicity, Kate Burton,, +44.207.927.3887


Agent, Gill Coleridge,, contact Matthew Turner', +


Publicity., +1 212.741.6900 :: Agent, Melanie Jackson,

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