Selected Letters by Edward Lear
This is the first edition of Edward Lear's letters for nearly eighty years, and the first to draw on all his known correspondence, which is now scattered in private and public collections throughout the world. Most of the letters have never before been published. They span the years from 1826 to 1888, tracing both his private life and his career - as landscape painter, traveller, nonsense writer, and one of the greatest ornithological draughtsmen this country has ever produced. They vividly illustrate the hardships and excitements of 19th-century travel, the happy ebullience of the nonsense writer, and the sad loneliness of a man isolated by the secret of his epilepsy. The letters are characteristic and revealing - particularly those to his sister Ann, which form the most important correspondence of his life. To all his correspondents, however, from zoologists to painters, politicians to children, he wrote with an artist's vivid observation, and with complete originality.