Lear's Book of Nonsense

Lear's Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear cover, gold figures doing various nonsense things on red book cloth

Cover of Lear's Book of Nonsense

By Edward Lear, London, 1875

Lear's Book of Nonsense

Written by Edward Lear

London, Frederick Warne and Co., 1875

9.5" x 10.6"

Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections

University of Minnesota Libraries

Born the twentieth of 22 children, Lear achieved early renown as an ornithological illustrator, publishing his first major work, Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots, at the age of 19. He produced A Book of Nonsense on a lark as a one-of-a-kind keepsake for the children of his patron, the Earl of Derby. Lear's rhymes and drawings proved to be a great hit with his young friends, and he soon yielded to the earl's urgings to publish them all in a book. To safeguard his reputation, he did so under a pen name—the suitably fanciful "Derry Down Derry." Following the book's resounding success, he changed his mind and substituted his own name starting with the sixth edition. 


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