The Complete Verse and Other Nonsense

ISBN: 0142002275
ISBN 13: 9780142002278
By: Edward Lear Vivien Noakes

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About this book

The absurd and fanciful verses of Edward Lear-from "The Owl and the Pussy-cat" to "The Jumblies," from "The Scroobious Pip" to countless limericks-have enchanted generations of readers, children and adults alike. This delightful collection, the most comprehensive ever compiled of his work, presents all of Lear's verse and other nonsense writings, including stories, letters, and illustrated alphabets, as well as previously unpublished material. Featuring Lear's own line drawings throughout and an introduction by leading Lear authority Vivien Noakes, this captivating volume reveals a complex man of ample talents, achievements, and influence-and is teeming with timeless nonsense.

Reader's Thoughts

Adam Weber

So much fun for anyone of any age.


Absolutely must be read aloud - and preferably with other people!


Sometimes it's relaxing to read something into which absolutely nothing can be read - (How's that for a strange sentence?) - and Edward Lear certainly delivers on that front. You could try looking for an allegory or a moral lesson or just some symbolism in his nonsense, just like you could try looking for meaning in fractals or winning lotto numbers - it's beside the point, or even absolutely pointless. And that means that its awesome comes purely from the way it plays with language and images, which is always fun.That said, apart from the big classics, the ones you probably know already - the Owl and the Pussy Cat, the Pobble Who Has No Toes, and the Quangle-Wangle - there isn't really too much here that you need to know about. They're pleasant, occasionally pretty funny, but that's about all. But they are still definitely good for a laugh or two.

Brandon White

A bit repetitive at times, and definitely not, by todays standards at least, entirely "child friendly". Regardless, I enjoyed it for what it was... nonsense.

Avis Black

Lear's best poems are good; the problem is that there are so few of them among all the work he produced.


'the owl and the pussycat' will always be a favorite. you can probably skip the limericks; although they were made popular by lear, his re-use of the first line as the last line keeps the nonsense from becoming clever.

aljouharah altheeyb

مثل ماقلت من قبل، أدب التفاهة حاجة غريبه وجميلة وممتعة! أفكار كثيره عجيبه تُخلط وتتحرك وتخرج بسلاسة وكأنها تحدث كُل يوم. شخصيات لا تفكر بإمكانية تحويلها لأبطال قصص تجدها ترقص وتسافر في مغامرات طويله لا معنى لها. حبيت إدورد لير من هالكتاب. حس الفكاهة عنده جداً عالي ومميز.

Wendy Meddour

Lear - the master of nonsense. And I do love a bit of nonsense!


By far the funniest and most suited book in my bathroom. Open it wherever you want and read a hilarious limerick.[return]I've read it several times already and always discover new stories I didn't really notice the time before.[return]We had to read several of Lear's limericks in English class but I never really apppreciated the humor in them until I got this book a few months ago.


Lear is a master of the limerick and humorous poetry. My dad bought an older edition for us when we were kids and I was brought up on these nonsense rhymes and strange but endearingly funny illustrations. "The Owl and the Pussycat" will always have a special place in my heart because my grandma would recite it to me with a grin shortly after singing Eidelweiss or some other song. It's really no surprise that Lear was an inspiration to so many.


Love these nonsensical texts!


so far it is lovely. i especially enjoy his nonsense botany doodles and other artwork included!


never againg like tree funny ones in the whole book


An absolutely wonderful and funny book for all human beings be they adult or child. Put this book on your list to keep on hand to read to any children in your life. Children have fabulous senses of humor. Edward Lear is just as smart and funny today as he was in the mid 19th century when he lived, wrote, and illustrated. No home should be without this book.

Steve Shilstone

Among Mr. Lear's characters, I really do most sincerely appreciate Violet, Lionel, Guy, and Slingsby.

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