DeDoDoDoDeDaDaDaMy mother had a very early edition of Edward Lear’s BOOK OF NONSENSE. It wasn’t a first edition, but a very nifty looking third edition.

There was a Young Person of Smyrna,
Whose Grandmother threatened to burn her;
But she seized on the cat,
And said, ‘Granny, burn that!
You incongruous Old Woman of Smyrna!’

I wish I had hung on to it, but it slipped away.

I don’t remember if it had the complete compilation of Lear’s verses, but I don’t think it contained such poems as THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT.

DeDDoDoDo2By extreme fortune, I came across a rare copy of THE COMPLETE NONSENSE OF EDWARD LEAR COLLECTED AND INTRODUCED BY HOLBROOK JACKSON.   Originally published in London by Faber and Faber in 1947.  My book is a Dover reprint from 1951.  I could not find it anywhere on the Internet with this wonderful cover.

It contains “Every nonsense book ever published by Edward Lear . . . ”  including the Jumblies, nonsense alphabets, songs, and “hundreds of others.”

“With ALL 546 original Lear illustrations.”

If you can find any edition of such a wonder, grab it!

Originally created for children, I am not sure modern children will “get” all the puns.  Some of the words may even be found offensive by some readers, but Lear is definitely worth reading – for generations to come!

Treasure it!

There was an Old Derry down Derry,
who loved to see little folks merry;
So he made them a book,
and with laughter they shook
at the fun of that Derry down Derry.




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