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Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense (Hardback)
  • Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense (Hardback)
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Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense (Hardback)

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£25.00
Hardback 608 Pages / Published: 05/10/2017
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Shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2017

Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2017

Edward Lear's poems follow and break the rules. They abide by the logic of syntax, the linking of rhyme and the dance of rhythm, and these 'nonsenses' are full of joy - yet set against darkness.

Where do these human-like animals and birds and these odd adventures - some gentle, some violent, some musical, some wild - come from?

His many drawings that accompany his verse are almost hyper-real, as if he wants to free the creatures from the page. They exist nowhere else in literature, springing only from Lear's imagination.

Lear lived all his life on the borders of rules and structures, of disciplines and desires. He vowed to ignore politics yet trembled with passionate sympathies. He depended on patrons and moved in establishment circles, yet he never belonged among them and mocked imperial attitudes. He loved men yet dreamed of marriage - but remained, it seems, celibate, wrapped in himself.

Even in his family he was marginal, at once accepted and rejected. Surrounded by friends, he was alone.

If we follow him across land and sea - to Italy, Greece and Albania, to The Levant and Egypt and India - and to the borderlands of spirit and self, art and desire, can we see, in the end, if the nonsense makes sense? This is what Jenny Uglow has set sail to find out.

An award-winning author, critic, journalist, biographer and editor, Jenny Uglow’s books include: The Lunar Men, In These Times, Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories and A Little History of British Gardening and Words & Pictures (a look at relationships between writers and artists, from the illustrators of Milton and Bunyan, to Dickens and Phiz and Lewis Carroll and Tenniel). Her latest book is Mr Lear.

Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 9780571269549
Number of pages: 608
Weight: 1260 g
Dimensions: 240 x 160 x 45 mm
Edition: Main

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“A sumptuous love letter to an extraordinary talent”

In Mr Lear, Jenny Uglow moves beyond the normal constraints of 'book' and presents and extravagant catalogue of Lear's life and work. The item itself is beautiful (creamy pages, full colour plates,... More

Hardback edition
8th November 2017
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