Edward Lear's 'nonsense' rhymes, although not 'great' poetry, have remained popular for nearly 200 years, and this 1970 edition is a particularly pleasing one, enhanced by many delightful illustrations by L. Leslie Brooke (1862–1940), a British artist and writer whose skilful and witty illustrations in Andrew Lang's Nursery Rhyme Book (1897) established his reputation as a leading children's book illustrator of pen-and-ink line drawings and watercolours.
Edward Lear (1812–1888) was an English artist, illustrator, musician, author and poet, and is known now mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose (especially his limericks, a form he popularised). As an artist he was employed to illustrate birds and animals, he made coloured drawings during his journeys, sometimes later reworked as plates in his travel books, and as a (minor) illustrator of Alfred Tennyson's poems. As an author, he is known principally for his popular nonsense collections of poems, songs, short stories, botanical drawings, recipes, and alphabets. He also composed and published twelve musical settings of Tennyson's poetry.
Our copy is in very nice condition, in a very good, but slightly grubby cream dust jacket (price-clipped) with a red singing owl on the front as well as title etc in red and green lettering. Similar lettering adorns the spine, and a list of other books illustrated by Brooke is in green lettering on the back. The book itself is bound in red cloth, with title etc in black lettering on front and spine, and shows no external signs of wear or use. Inside, the binding is firm, all pages clean and bright, and all full-page colour illustrations present. Endpapers are delightfully illustrated with a pelican and a kangaroo.