The Natural History of Edward Lear, New Edition


The Natural History of Edward Lear, New Edition Author: Format: Paperback / softback First Published: Published By: Princeton University Press
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Pages: 240 Illustrations and other contents: 215 color illus. Language: English ISBN: 9780691217239 Categories: , , Tag:

A beautifully illustrated exploration of Edward Lear’s little-known career as a natural-history artist – now in a new expanded paperback edition.

Edward Lear (1812-1888) is best known today for his witty limericks and endearing nonsense verse. But the celebrated author of “The Owl and the Pussy-Cat” also created some of the most stunning paintings of birds and mammals during an age when many species were just being discovered and brought to private menageries and zoos throughout Europe. The Natural History of Edward Lear brings together more than 200 of Lear’s strikingly beautiful illustrations of animals, plants, and landscapes.

Robert McCracken Peck sheds light on Lear’s astounding creativity, productivity, and success as an artist. He discusses Lear’s humor, extensive travels, and important place in the history of science, and shows how Lear influenced other artists from Beatrix Potter and Maurice Sendak to James Prosek and Walton Ford. With a foreword by David Attenborough, a new chapter discussing Lear’s interest in pets, and never-before-published illustrations by Lear, this new edition offers invaluable perspectives on a beloved writer who was also one of the greatest natural-history artists of all time.

Weight0.85 kg




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"As Robert McCracken Peck shows us in his The Natural History of Edward Lear, when it comes to realistic animal portraiture, Lear could have run circles around any of his successors. He simply chose not to."---Emily Donaldson, Globe and Mail "This book is much recommended and indeed an essential reference for this rather under-researched part of Lear’s artistic life."---Clemency Fisher, Archives of Natural History "An engaging history of the remarkable 19th century artist, Edward Lear. . . . The Natural History of Edward Lear is an important and insightful description of the artist’s career with convincing evidence that his unique contributions continue to influence our artistic and literary culture."---Tony Angell, Wilson Journal of Ornithology

Author Biography

Robert McCracken Peck is senior fellow and curator of art and artifacts at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. His many books include Specimens of Hair: The Curious Collection of Peter A. Browne and Headhunters and Hummingbirds: An Expedition into Ecuador. He lives in Philadelphia.