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Synopsis

Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator, author, and poet, renowned for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form that he popularized. Lear's nonsense works are distinguished by a facility of verbal invention and a poet's delight in the sounds of words, both real and imaginary. A stuffed rhinoceros becomes a "diaphanous doorscraper". A "blue Boss-Woss" plunges into "a perpendicular, spicular, orbicular, quadrangular, circular depth of soft mud". His heroes are Quangle-Wangles, Pobbles, and Jumblies. His most famous piece of verbal invention, a "runcible spoon" occurs in the closing lines of The Owl and the Pussycat, and is now found in many English dictionaries. Reviews Surely the most beneficent and innocent of all books yet produced is the "Book of Nonsense," with its corollary carols, inimitable and refreshing, and perfect in rhythm. I really don't know any author to whom I am half so grateful for my idle self as Edward Lear. I shall put him first of my hundred authors. -JOHN RUSKIN, In the "List of the Best Hundred Authors." 'A magic song-writer, with something like a reverence for the absurd.' - Times Literary Supplement

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