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Complete Nonsense

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  364 ratings  ·  37 reviews
This edition of Lear's work contains all the verse and stories of The Book of Nonsense, More Nonsense, Nonsense Songs, Nonsense Stories and Nonsense Alphabets and Nonsense Cookery.
Paperback, Wordsworth Children's Classics, 272 pages
Published October 5th 1994 by Wordsworth Editions
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K.D. Absolutely
Dec 18, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Children's)
Shelves: 501, childrens, collection
This children's book is composed of 4 originally-released as individual separate books:
(1) A Book of Nonsense (1846) - composed of several funny 4-line 1-stanza poems accompanying hilarious pictures

(2) Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets (1871) - composed of longer poems, several short outrageously funny stories, pictures of out-of-this-world plants and alphabets whose individual letters are accompanied with silly meanings.

(3) More Nonsense Pictures, Rhymes, Botany, etc. (1872) - basic
I love the poem where he introduces himself! From memory:
How pleasant to know Mr Lear!
Who has written such masses of stuff
Some think him ill-tempered and queer
But a few find him pleasant enough.

He sits in a beautiful parlour
With hundreds of books on the wall
He drinks quite a lot of Marsala
But never gets tipsy at all.

He has many friends, laymen and clerical
Old Foss is the name of his cat
His body is perfectly spherical
He weareth a runcible hat.

He reads, but he cannot speak, Spanish
He cannot abide
Ryan Rainey
This is a book written by Edward Lear. This book contains his best rhyming works that he ever wrote. He includes all of his original drawings that were intended for each part of his collection of rhymes. Each rhyme was very funny. This book includes song rhymes, rhyming lyrics, stories, and alphabet rhymes. There really isn't a conflict, plot, resolution, or setting. This is basically a book of rhymes. If i was to describe this book in one word I would say that it is nonsensical. My favorite rhy ...more
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.
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.'
Bryan Kornele
What a strange read. I will admit I skimmed most of it because the content is some of the oddest ramblings I have come across. Kind of like being inside the head of a writer/poet who is mentally unstable or having a nervous breakdown. Some of the hand drawings were creative though.
I'm not sure which edition of Edward Lear's nonsense poetry I read as a kid so I picked this one. Really enjoyed it!
Michael R
What nonsense, with just a few chuckles. Best suited for younger children with broad vocabularies.
Should have read it when I was younger.
Brilliant!!! :-D
Nonsense comes in many varieties. Some would argue that nonsense needs to, by definition, not make sense. That’s a pretty restrictive definition that would exclude most of the work of Lear and Carroll. A broader definition encompasses any verse or writing that is absurdly humorous or perversely illogical (or perversely logical, for that matter). From Hey Diddle Diddle to Monty Python’s fish slapping skit, nonsense has a long history.

Nonsense, though, is wasted on children. They live their lives
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
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
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.
Alex Hope Goldberg
100 years before Edward Gorey's "Gashlycrumb Tinies" and 125 years before Tim Burton's "Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy," there was Edward Lear's books of complete nonsense. This collection is a great match for those who love the literary nonsense of Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was written around the same time). Whimsical and sometimes a little dark (ie: How to Make Gosky Patties), these rhymes and songs are really fun to read-aloud. If you haven't yet heard The Owl and the Pu ...more

I can hold my breath that long in real life, too. I was saying that as I typed it.
Sarah Jacquie
Like an original Shel Silverstein, or at least the Victorian variety. Mum shared this with me when I was little, and it still holds a dear place in my heart. We lived in England, and each night before school I'd read. This book was often my friend through the night. All night long I'd read, and later my mum would tell me of her own love for the Dong and the Jumblies, and still I love this book so much. Once he catches your heart and mind, it belongs to him forever.
Ashleigh Foreman
ART ART ART ART ART! I love this. a collection of poems, songs and short story's. I could spend hours reading this and each time getting a different perspective. if I remember rightly (it was a year or so ago) the first poem is a duck an a kangaroo. incredible imagination and great geographical knowledge combing fact and faction in a way it makes it impossible to separate the two.
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.
5 stars for The Owl and the Pussycat, the Jumblies, and Self-Portrait. 1-2 stars for almost everything else in this cursed book. You'd think "nonsense" would be more fun to read, but this was an absolute chore to finish. I have to confess, by the last 50 pages I was just skimming along, praying for it to end.
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!
Daisy Leather
so much fun to read!
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.
Very strange. It might be different for those who grew up with these stories but to me it simply was too much nonesense (as I should have expected!)
There was a young lady like me,
Who read Edward Lear in a tree,
She then began weaning,
Away from all meaning,
That influenced young lady like me.
Bobby Morris
I've been a huge fan of Edward Lear's nonsense ever since I was a boy.
Absolutely must be read aloud - and preferably with other people!
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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 The Complete Verse and Other Nonsense A Book of Nonsense - More Nonsense The Jumblies The Quangle Wangle's Hat

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