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Edward Lear Quotes


Edward Lear
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Edward Lear
  • Born: 12th May 1812, Holloway, Middlesex, England
  • Died: 29th January 1888, San Remo, Italy
  • Resting place: Cemetery Foce in San Remo
  • Occupation: Artist, author, illustrator and poet
  • Famous for: The Owl and The Pussycat and popularizing limericks
  • Shock event: His book of nonsense
  • Genre: Children's literature, literary nonsense and limericks
  • Verbal inventions: He gave the world the phrase "runcible spoon" from "The Owl and The Pussycat" and it is now listed in dictionaries
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"I have been trying to draw the Alps, but they, like Sarah in Abraham's tent, have hidden themselves"

Edward Lear

"I did not answer their letters because I could not write, as no sooner did I take a pen in my hand than I felt as if I were dying"

Edward Lear

"On a little heap of Barley, died my aged uncle Arly. And they buried him one night, close beside the leafy thicket"

Edward Lear

"You will render me a sacred service in telling my friends and relations that my last thought was for them"

Edward Lear

"I certainly do hate the act of painting: and although day after day I go steadily on, it is like grinding my nose off"

Edward Lear

"I seem to be on the threshold of knowledge"

Edward Lear

"I am almost thanking God that I was never educated"

Edward Lear

"It's a fact the whole world knows, that Pebbles are happier without their toes"

Edward Lear

"The people being angry that some reactionists appeared on Cavour's death being known with Austrian orders"

Edward Lear

"The mob tore the orders off, and Corsini had to run for it into the Duomo till the N. Guard came"

Edward Lear

"The balls, and small monotonous whist or tea-parties are wholly out of my line in this very very very small tittletattle place" (about Corfu)

Edward Lear

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Edward Lear Biography

Edward Lear came from a humble background that lacked good schooling but encouraged his abilities to draw and to express himself with words. His imagination knew no bounds and his talent for making nonsense sound interesting in poems is part of his literary legacy to the world.



From an early age he showed artistic promise as his sketches provided a small income during the latter part of his teenage years. He went on to become an ornithological artist as he was a fore runner in drawing live birds as opposed to his contemporaries who used a studio approach using skins or stuffed trophies.

He was a well travelled man that toured much of Europe sketching ancient monuments especially in Italy where he eventually settled in San Remo in northern Italy.

His 1846 publication called "A Book of Nonsense" helped popularise limericks in a new genre that became known as literary nonsense. He also became renowned for creating music for Victorian poems including Alfred Lord Tennyson the poet laureate of the United Kingdom.

With his legacy as an artist intact he was also good for an interesting one liner, so this is my compilation of 11 of the best Edward Lear quotes

Quotes About Edward Lear

The poet Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote this in a poem to him and it now serves as the inscription on Edward Lears' grave stone: "With such a pencil, such a pen. You shadow'd forth to distant men, I read and felt that I was there"


Edward Lear image quote