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In Britain the most adventurous list in poetry and in fiction is that being printed according to the ideals of a small press by Carcanet, well away from London. It does look as if the old alliance between the words of the writer and the artistry of making fine books has a vital future.
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Over the Land and Over the Sea
Selected Nonsense and Travel Writings
Edited by Peter Swaab
ISBN: 978 1 857547 59 7
Categories: 19th Century, Art, Humour
Published: May 2005
216 x 135 x 27 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
Through the silent-roaring ocean
Did the Turtle swiftly go;
Holding fast upon his shell
Rode the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
With a sad primaeval motion
Towards the sunset isles of Boshen
Still the Turtle bore him well.
Holding fast upon his shell...
from 'The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo'
Edward Lear (1812-1888) is one of the best-loved of English poets. His comic invention and unconstrained sense of the absurd have been enjoyed by generations of children, and treasured by adults conscious of the subtle melancholy that underlies the fun.
This collection includes all the favourite nonsense poems. Peter Swaab sets them alongside a generous selection from Lear's six travel books (including his three Journals of a Landscape Painter), first published between 1841 and 1870, and long out of print. For the first time Lear is presented as an adventurer, not only in the fabled lands of the Jumblies and the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo, but also in nineteenth-century Albania, Greece, Calabria and Corsica, where his encounters with the people and customs of these sometimes equally strange and challenging cultures are recorded with the same acute and rueful comic imagination.
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