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The Complete Nonsense and Other Verse (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 7 Sep 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (7 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140424652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140424652
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Edward Lear (1812-88) originally earned his living as a commercial artist. A skilled landscape painter and ornothological illustrator, he was art master to Queen Victoria for a time. His nonsense writing began as a sideline to amuse himself and hisfriend's children but soon made him a household name.

Vivien Noakes is the leading authority on Lear; editor of his Selected Letters (1988) and the definitive biography, she also curated the Lear exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1985.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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 Vivien Noakes is the undisputed expert in her field and much previously unpublished material is here.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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Format: 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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Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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