Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Flashes from the Past: "He had as many as three or four epileptic spells a day..."

He had as many as three or four epileptic spells a day, and also had frequent attacks of asthma. Tutored at home by his older sister, he didn't attend school until he was 11 years old. He loved writing poetry at an early age and also found he had a talent for drawing. In a letter to his sister at age 14, he was already making up words. The letter started "Dear, and very dear relation, Time who flies without cessation"...The letter goes on to include words like "deliquation", "obtrectation", and "refulerlation".

Who was this? This was the remarkable Edward Lear - author of Nonsense Poems and Sketches, and an impressive landscape artist in his own right until he gave it up because of partial blindness. Edward Lear had a truly remarkable life, and if your children love his limericks, check out the kids' biography: "Edward Lear, King of Nonsense", written by Gloria Kamen (1990).


There was a Young Lady whose chin,
Resembled the point of a pin;
So she had it made sharp,
And purchased a harp,
And played several tunes with her chin.



Edward Lear

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