Mr. Lear by Jenny Uglow
A Life of Art and Nonsense

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This extraordinary Englishman died in self-imposed isolation in San Remo aged 75. Jenny Uglow has written a great life about an artist with half a life, a biography that might break your heart.
-Guardian

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A sparkling biography of the poet and artist Edward Lear by the award-winning biographer Jenny Uglow

We know Edward Lear as a genius of nonsense, full of shocks and surprises, and as a poet of strange loves―“The Owl and the Pussy-Cat,” “The Dong with a Luminous Nose.” We may know him, too, for his paintings of parrots and owls, or for his luminous landscapes. But do we know that he taught Queen Victoria to draw, traveled alone across the wild Albanian mountains, and waded through muddy fields with Tennyson?

Lear lived all his life on the borders of rules and structures, of disciplines and desires. Children adored him and adults loved him, yet somehow he was always alone. In this beautiful volume, a fresh and joyful appreciation by the award-winning and compulsively readable Jenny Uglow, we follow Lear from his troubled childhood to his striving as an artist, tracking his swooping moods, passionate friendships, and restless travels. And, as we travel with him, his “nonsenses” are elegantly unpicked―without losing any of their fun.

 

About Jenny Uglow

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Jenny Uglow’s books include prizewinning biographies of Elizabeth Gaskell and William Hogarth. The Lunar Men, published in 2002, was described by Richard Holmes as “an extraordinarily gripping account,” while Nature’s Engraver won the National Arts Writers Award for 2007. A Gambling Man was short-listed for the 2010 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Uglow grew up in Cumbria and now lives in Canterbury, England.
 
Published April 17, 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 544 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs.
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Robert McCrum on Sep 24 2017

This extraordinary Englishman died in self-imposed isolation in San Remo aged 75. Jenny Uglow has written a great life about an artist with half a life, a biography that might break your heart.

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