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The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Poetry

By Edward Lear

ISBN: 9781847498229

128 pages

RRP: £7.99 £6.39

Written for the poet John Addington Symonds’s young daughter Janet while she was ill and confined to her bed, ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ sees the two enamoured animals sail away in a boat “for a year and a day / To the land with the bong tree grows”, where they get married.

Long considered one of the nation’s favourite poems, it is combined here with other memorable examples of what Lear called “nonsense songs”, such as ‘Calico Pie’ and ‘The Duck and the Kangaroo’, as well as with nonsense stories, cookery, botany and alphabets, in a collection that transports adults and children alike to the extraordinary world of Edward Lear’s imagination.

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  • His nonsense is not vacuity of sense: it is parody of sense, and that is the sense of it.

    T.S. Eliot

Edward Lear

Edward Lear (1812–88) was an English painter and writer known primarily for his nonsense verse and for popularizing the limerick. His poem ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ remains one of the nation’s favourites. An intrepid traveller, Lear explored Syria, Egypt and India, among many other places. He published three volumes of bird and animal drawings, seven illustrated travel books and four books of nonsense.

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