The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, Calico Pie and The Pobble Who Has No Toes, together with Edward Lear"s crazy limericks, have entertained adults and children alike for over 100 years. This edition, illustrated by the author, contains all the verse and stories of The Book of Nonsense, More Nonsense, Nonsense Songs, Nonsense Stories and Nonsense Alphabets and Nonsense Cookery. It has a biographical Preface by Lear himself, and concludes with some delightful "heraldic" sketches of his cat, Foss.
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.
Largely educated by himself, Lear has been described as idiosyncratic yet brilliantly talented Lear also suffered from health issues. From the age of six he suffered frequent grand mal epileptic seizures, and bronchitis, asthma, and in later life, partial blindness.
He traveled widely throughout his life and eventually settled in Sanremo, on his beloved Mediterranean coast, in the 1870s, at a villa he named "Villa Tennyson."
Lear was already drawing "for bread and cheese" by the time he was aged 16. Throughout his life he continued to paint seriously. He had a lifelong ambition to illustrate Tennyson"s poems; near the end of his life a volume with a small number of illustrations was published, but his vision for the work was never realized.