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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book deserves to be on every bookshelf
This book is the product of a life studying Edward Lear and his works. Vivien Noakes is the undisputed expert in her field and much previously unpublished material is here. She always approaches her subject in a scholarly way, but her style is by no means dry and dusty. Lear is full of fun and Vivien Noakes's joy at Lear's sense of humour shines through on every page...
Published on 2 Nov. 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars No good for the standard kindle
This book is very nicely laid out... but for the standard screen kindle it's a nightmare. The rows of poems are indented, so they start half way across the screen, and even with the smallest text size and screen rotated to landscape there are lines which run over onto the next, making it a real headache to read!

The content is similar to 'Over the Land and...
Published on 18 July 2013 by kindling101


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book deserves to be on every bookshelf, 2 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
This book is the product of a life studying Edward Lear and his works. Vivien Noakes is the undisputed expert in her field and much previously unpublished material is here. She always approaches her subject in a scholarly way, but her style is by no means dry and dusty. Lear is full of fun and Vivien Noakes's joy at Lear's sense of humour shines through on every page. Lears work is set out chronologically and this allows one to see the development of his style. She has also devoted a section to notes on the work and this enhances one's enjoyment of Lear.
Vivien Noakes has edited what must be the most exciting book for Learophiles since Holbrook Jackson's collection in the late 1940s. This will surely become the standard collection of Lear's Verse and Nonsense and Vivien Noakes deserves fulsome praise for her achievement in editing such a wonderful book. Although most people know 'The Owl and The Pussy-Cat', Lear deserves to be far better known than he is for everything else he did.
Unfortunately this book is too big to be stuffed into a Christmas Stocking, but should be given to anyone, adult or child, with a sense of fun. Even a child who cannot read will take delight in Lears quirky illustrations, jolly caricatures of spherical chaps with spindly legs and wonderful pointy shoes, strange creatures such as the Scroobious Pip, and people that resemble birds or beetles. If this book were upon every bookshelf along with Shakespeare the world would be a far happier place.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Nonsense and Other Verse, 1 May 2009
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This review is from: The Complete Nonsense and Other Verse (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This was a very attractively produced book. Having known the book from my childhood I wanted to buy a copy for one of our granddaughters. This was just what I wanted.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the ridiculous limericks, 5 Mar. 2011
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If not for English coursework at school, I never would have learnt about Lear but now, I love his limericks as they are just bizzare. There are other poems in this book too and it's great to leave by your bedside and chuckle over before falling asleep.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but.............., 3 Oct. 2009
I bought it based upon the few examples of Lears writings. I was a little disappointed with the overall work but then it was very similar throughout. This is a personal review and for those who like Lear and want to have the complete works this book is execellent.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully presented compendium of Lear's nonsense, 3 Nov. 2013
By 
Yi-Peng (Singapore) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Complete Nonsense and Other Verse (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Fans of Edward Lear and his nonsense can be very grateful to the late Vivian Noakes for editing this compendium of his nonsense works and other poems. It is very good that it is available as a Penguin Classics trade paperback at a friendly price. It does not skimp on quality. The font pleases the eye and the book is well designed and laid out. This compendium is well up to Penguin's usual high standards in its new editions of classics.

I know that I originally bought this book because I wanted to own a well-edited collection of Lear's complete nonsense songs. However, going beyond the nonsense songs, this compendium has many strengths in the way Noakes presents the material. It offers up all the surviving nonsense of Lear, including the limericks, nonsense songs and stories. Admittedly, this compendium omits a few things including additional alphabets in a similar format. The works are all presented chronologically. Through it all Noakes presents each work clearly and as accurately as possible, offering her annotations and textual comparisons at the end. I quietly admit that not all the works may hold an interest, especially in the early years, but through this compendium, Noakes presents a convincing portrait of Lear through his nonsense writings.

Although this book is felicitous, I note a few weak points that do not tarnish my feelings towards this book. The chronological order may not be always user-friendly to casual readers who want to read things according to themes. It is a little unhelpful for poems with follow-ons, notably the two parts of Mr and Mrs Discobbolos. These poems, as well as the two related poems about the Jumblies, are in different parts of the book, and it would be helpful if they were together. I know that I quietly wish that this book had arranged the works according to themes (e.g. Limericks, Nonsense Songs, Stories, Alphabets, Botany, etc.). Other Edward Lear collections of the past, notably the Nonsense Omnibus, arrange their material along these lines. Admittedly, this may have backfired because it would be difficult to sustain yourself through wall-to-wall limericks. Another Lear collection that I know of, A Book of Bosh, arranges the writings according to themed subjects. Otherwise, it's hard to find fault with such an excellently edited Lear compendium such as this Noakes collection.

All told, though, this is an excellent collection of Lear's nonsense and it should be a first choice for anyone who wants a superbly-edited compendium of his works.

Yet I sometimes wonder, why didn't Noakes address an issue in the last stanza of Calico Pie, and could she have considered including the Ogden Nash completion of the Scroobious Pip in this edition? I hoped to e-mail her to ask her these questions but she passed away before she could receive it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lear at his completest, 28 April 2005
By 
John David Charles Hilton "Creative spark...." (Redcliffe, Bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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An excellent and comprehenisive collection of Lear's verse and nonsense. Great fun to read. Illustrated throughout in Lear's own individual style this book has been well edited by Vivien Noakes, with detailed introcuctory material and a clear layout throughout. Why make do with a selection when you can get the complete thing?
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3.0 out of 5 stars No good for the standard kindle, 18 July 2013
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This book is very nicely laid out... but for the standard screen kindle it's a nightmare. The rows of poems are indented, so they start half way across the screen, and even with the smallest text size and screen rotated to landscape there are lines which run over onto the next, making it a real headache to read!

The content is similar to 'Over the Land and Over the Sea': Selected Travel Journals and Nonsense Writing: Selected Nonsense and Travel Writings which I recommend as an alternative (much better for kindle reading).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential childhood companion, 2 Dec. 2012
This review is from: The Complete Nonsense and Other Verse (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Six wives of Henry VIII, Battle of Hastings and The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat. These are facts every child needs to learn. So Edward Lear is an essential part of childhood as anything on the national curriculum. No childhood should be without this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great intro to poetry for children., 1 May 2013
By 
Ms. A. J. Rae "Ali Rae" (Crowborough, E Sx, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Complete Nonsense and Other Verse (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
The key poems that older generations were brought up with are in here and a lot you won't know as well. When you have such a large anthology not all are as goos as the best, but worth it for the key ones.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Playful poetry., 27 Nov. 2012
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Ms. M. Burman "Mooshkat" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Complete Nonsense and Other Verse (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This book is kept within easy reach so that I can pick it up and read the odd verse to cheer myself up. It's a fantastic bit of escapism and am very happy to have rediscovered it.
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The Complete Nonsense and Other Verse (Penguin Classics)
The Complete Nonsense and Other Verse (Penguin Classics) by Edward Lear (Paperback - 7 Sept. 2006)
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