A sparkling biography of the poet and artist Edward Lear by the award-winning biographer Jenny Uglow Edward Lear, the renowned English artist, musician, author, and poet, lived a vivid, fascinating life, but confessed, “I hardly enjoy any one thing on earth while it is present.” He was a man in a hurry, “running about on railroads” from London to country estates and boarding steamships to Italy, Corfu, India, and Palestine. He is still loved for his “nonsenses,” from startling, joyous limericks to great love poems like “The Owl and the Pussy Cat” and “The Dong with a Luminous Nose,” and he is famous, too, for his brilliant natural history paintings, landscapes, and travel writing. But although Lear belongs solidly to the age of Darwin and Dickens—he gave Queen Victoria drawing lessons, and his many friends included Tennyson and the Pre-Raphaelite painters—his genius for the absurd and his dazzling wordplay make him a very modern spirit. He speaks to us today. Lear was a man of great simplicity and charm—children adored him—yet his humor masked epilepsy, depression, and loneliness. Jenny Uglow’s beautifully illustrated biography, full of the color of the age, brings us his swooping moods, passionate friendships, and restless travels. Above all, Mr. Lear shows how this uniquely gifted man lived all his life on the boundaries of rules and structures, disciplines and desires—an exile of the heart.
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.
Acclaimed historian Jenny Uglow brings us a fascinating and beautifully illustrated biography of Edward Lear, full of the colour of the age. Edward Lear lived a vivid, fascinating, energetic life, but confessed, 'I hardly enjoy any one thing on earth while it is present.' He was a man in a hurry, 'running about on railroads' from London to country estates and boarding steamships to Italy, Corfu, India and Palestine. He is still loved for his 'nonsenses', from startling, joyous limericks to great love songs like 'The Owl and the Pussy Cat' and 'The Dong with a Luminous Nose', and he is famous, too, for his brilliant natural history paintings, landscapes and travel writing. But although Lear belongs solidly in the age of Darwin and Dickens - he gave Queen Victoria drawing lessons, and his many friends included Tennyson and the Pre-Raphaelite painters - his genius for the absurd and his dazzling word-play make him a very modern spirit. He speaks to us today. Lear was a man of great simplicity and charm: children adored him, yet his humour masked epilepsy, depression and loneliness. Jenny Uglow's beautifully illustrated biography, full of the colour of the age, brings us his swooping moods, passionate friendships and restless travels/ Above all it shows how this uniquely gifted man lived all his life on the boundaries of rules and structures, disciplines and desires - an exile of the heart.
Author: Edward Lear
Publisher: The Floating Press
Release Date: 2009-01-01
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Edward Lear (1812 - 1888) was an English writer of nonsense, the most famous piece of which is The Owl and the Pussycat. He is also credited with popularizing the limerick, though there was some speculation as to whether his patron, the Earl of Derby, simply used Lear as a pseudonym for his own writings. Lear was also a successful illustrator and even spent some time tutoring Queen Victoria in drawing before his improper behaviour had him thrown out of court.
Author: Jenny Uglow
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2009-05-15
In this superb biography, Uglow tells the story of the farmers son who influenced book illustration for a century to come. It is a story of violent change, radical politics, lost ways of life, and the beauty of the wild--a journey to the beginning of a lasting obsession with the natural world.
Winner of the Portico Prize Shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography of the Year High-spirited, witty and passionate, Elizabeth Gaskell wrote some of the most enduring novels of the Victorian age, including Mary Barton, North and South and Wives and Daughters. This biography traces Elizabeth's youth in rural Knutsford, her married years in the tension-ridden city of Manchester and her wide network of friends in London, Europe and America. Standing as a figure caught up in the religious and political radicalism of nineteenth century Britain, the book looks at how Elizabeth observed, from her Manchester home, the brutal but transforming impact of industry, enjoying a social and family life, but distracted by her need to write down the truth of what she saw. In this widely acclaimed biography, Elizabeth Gaskell emerges as an artist of unrecognized complexity, shrewdly observing the political, religious and feminist arguments of nineteenth century Britain, with enjoyment, passion and wit. Jenny Uglow is the bestselling author of Nature's Engraver, which won the National Arts Writers Award, and A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Samuel Johnson Prize. Her most recent books include Nature's Engraver, the story of Thomas Bewick, and In These Times, a history of the home front during the Napoleonic Wars.
Author: Edward Lear
Publisher: Sovereign via PublishDrive
Release Date: 2014-06-15
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea; In a beautiful pea-green boat; They took some honey, and plenty of money; Wrapped up in a five-pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above; And sang to a small guitar...
Author: Jenny Uglow
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: 2015-01-27
A beautifully observed history of the British home front during the Napoleonic Wars by a celebrated historian We know the thrilling, terrible stories of the battles of the Napoleonic Wars—but what of those left behind? The people on a Norfolk farm, in a Yorkshire mill, a Welsh iron foundry, an Irish village, a London bank, a Scottish mountain? The aristocrats and paupers, old and young, butchers and bakers and candlestick makers—how did the war touch their lives? Jenny Uglow, the prizewinning author of The Lunar Men and Nature's Engraver, follows the gripping back-and-forth of the first global war but turns the news upside down, seeing how it reached the people. Illustrated by the satires of Gillray and Rowlandson and the paintings of Turner and Constable, and combining the familiar voices of Austen, Wordsworth, Scott, and Byron with others lost in the crowd, In These Times delves into the archives to tell the moving story of how people lived and loved and sang and wrote, struggling through hard times and opening new horizons that would change their country for a century.
Author: Matthew Bevis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-10-11
Of all the Victorian poets, Edward Lear has a good claim to the widest audience: admired and championed by critics and poets from John Ruskin to John Ashbery, he has also been read, heard, and loved by generations of children. As a central figure in the literature of nonsense, Lear has also shaped the evolution of modern literature and his work continues to influence and inspire writers and readers today. This collection of essays, the first ever devoted solely to Lear, builds on a recent resurgence of critical interest and asks how it is that the play of Lear's poetry continues to delight, and to challenge our sense of what poetry can be. These seventeen chapters, written by established and emerging critics of poetry, seek to explore and appreciate the playfulness embodied in the poems and to provide contexts in which it can be better understood and enjoyed. They consider how Lear's poems play off various inheritances (the literary fool, Romantic lyric, his religious upbringing), explore particular forms in which his playful genius took flight (his letters, his queer writings about love), and trace lines of Learical influence and inheritance by showing how other poets and thinkers across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries played off Lear in their turn (Stein, Eliot, Auden, Smith, Ashbery, and others).
In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group. Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.
Author: Jenny Uglow
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2012-10-31
Did the Romans have rakes? Did the monks get muddy? Did the potato seem really, really weird when it arrived on our shores? This lively 'potted' history of gardening in Britain takes us on a garden tour from the thorn hedges around prehistoric settlements to the rage for ornamental grasses and 'outdoor rooms' today. It tracks down the ordinary folk who worked the earth - the apprentice boys and weeding women, the florists and nursery gardeners - as well as aristocrats and grand designers and famous plant-hunters. Coloured by Jenny Uglow's own love for plants, and brought to life in the many vivid illustrations, it deals not only with flowery meads, grottoes and vistas, landscapes and ha-has, parks and allotments, but tells you, for example, how the Tudors made their curious knots; how housewives used herbs to stop freckles; how the suburbs dug for victory in World War II. With a brief guide to particular historic or evocative gardens open to the public, this is a book to put in your pocket when planning a summer day out - but also to read in your deckchair with a glass of cold wine, when dead-heading is simply too much.
One of the most brilliant writers of her day, George Eliot (1819-1880) was also one of the most talked about. Intellectual and independent, she had the strength to defy polite society with her highly unorthodox private life, so why did she deny her fictional characters the same opportunities?