The Complete Verse and Other Nonsense
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The Complete Verse and Other Nonsense

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  772 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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, letter...more
Paperback, 624 pages
Published October 29th 2002 by Penguin Books (first published 1912)
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I grew up with this book of Victorian nonsense, thanks to my grandmother. Its alphabets are still hard to beat, as are the words and wordplay in very many of its poems. Several of the few poems I know by heart are from Lear.
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.
I had fond memories of memorising poems by Edward Lear at school but obviously they picked out the best ones for us. En masse I found his work tiresome, there are pages and pages of limericks that are virtually the same and his alphabets are not much better.

It was interesting to learn a little more about his life. I didn't know he was the 20th child! He was also a talented artist and was drawing master to Queen Victoria. There are a couple of coloured plates included in the book of his nature d...more
Yes, I did think this book was more or less complete nonsense. It was a type of humor I just don't appreciate. I do like a good limerick. "The limerick packs laughs anatomical / In space that is quite economical. / But the good ones I've seen / So seldom are clean / And the clean ones so seldom are comical." Edward's are clean, and the last line usually repeats the exact phrase of the first line like this: "There was an Old Man at a casement / Who held up his hands in amazement / When they said,...more
'There was an Old Man of the Hague
Whose ideas were excessively vague;
He built a balloon
To examine the moon
That deluded Old Man of the Hague.'

' There was a Young Lady of Tyre
Who swept the loud chords of a lyre;
At the sound of each sweep
She enraptured the deep,
And enchanted the city of Tyre.'
Lear’s compendium of small jokes and assorted nonsense is delightfully funny, and anticipated the comedy of countless generations that depend on the ridiculous. He sums up this philosophy in a quote to be found in the wonderfully written introduction to this volume: ‘Nonsense is the breath of my nostrils’, he wrote. It is a philosophy as much as a genre. For him it was a response to ‘this ludicrously whirligig life which one suffers from first & laughs at afterwards’. Lear himself was not bl...more
Pete daPixie
Edward Lear's nonsense was a favourite read for John Lennon. He kept a copy in his bedroom at Menlove Avenue, and perhaps explains John's drawing style as well as the lyric writing of tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
The laureate of nonsense is collected together with five publications; 'A Book of Nonsense' (1846), 'Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets' (1871), 'More Nonsense, Pictures, Rhymes, Botany,Etc.'(1872), 'Laughable Lyrics, A Fourth Book of Nonsense Poems, Songs, Botany, Mus...more
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,...more
The 2004 theatrical release of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy set the literary world on its ear and in search of landmark absurdum. Less ponderous than Lewis Carroll and easier to read than James Joyce, the Victorian illustrator, writer, and yes, absurdist, Edward Lear (1812-1888) fit the bill for many. Fortunately Lear's "The Complete Verse and Other Nonsense" collects nearly all of Lear's output, including his published works, letters and many drawings.

Lear will strike the reader as hil...more
Had this book as a child aged about 8. Loved it. Would read it again and again. I can still remember some of the lines from certain poems like the Jumblies. My edition had beautiful illustrations too.
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.

I can hold my breath that long in real life, too. I was saying that as I typed it.
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.
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.
May 06, 2008 Carolyn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All
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.
Sin sentido???Pues para mí sí que tiene, y mucho!!hay que encontrarle el sentido al sin sentido...

Creo que es libro más original que me he leído nunca, mezclando poesía, narrativa, dibujos, abecedarios, canciones, recetas de cocina....increíble!!Leeré más de Edward Lear; dejaré que me sorprenda aún más!
'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.

Sahir D'souza.
Great. Great. Great. This book is that. Great. I know 'The Owl and the Pussycat' by heart now! It is THE most nonsensical nonsense verse and tale. You HAVE to read it.
Overall pretty good. I have to say though that the standards for what makes a good limerick have come a long way since Lear's time.
Victorian humor at its best.
Avis Black
Lear's best poems are good; the problem is that there are so few of them among all the work he produced.
Steve Shilstone
Among Mr. Lear's characters, I really do most sincerely appreciate Violet, Lionel, Guy, and Slingsby.
Oct 30, 2008 Sarah marked it as to-read
so far it is lovely. i especially enjoy his nonsense botany doodles and other artwork included!
Bobby Morris
I've been a huge fan of Edward Lear's nonsense ever since I was a boy.
Lear could draw, too. And he knew how to have fun. What is not to love?
Absolutely must be read aloud - and preferably with other people!
Wendy Meddour
Lear - the master of nonsense. And I do love a bit of nonsense!
never againg like tree funny ones in the whole book
Lyn Oates
a book to return to again and again....always a smile
The book is full of fascinating nonsense.
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Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator and writer known for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form which he popularized.

For more information, please see

More about Edward Lear...
The Owl and the Pussycat A Book of Nonsense The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear The Jumblies The Quangle Wangle's Hat

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