Edward Lear born 12 May 1812 (d. 1888)
Although a talented illustrator and painter, Edward Lear is best known for his nonsense verse. His poetry demonstrates a defining love of eccentricity, verbal invention and poetic delight in the sound of words. His best known poem is The Owl & The Pussycat.
He enjoyed poor health most of his life, suffering from epilepsy, asthma, bronchitis, and in later life, partial blindness. Although there a few clues in some of his work, the clearest indications of his attraction to other men are in his letters and diaries of the 1850s-70s. However, his lack of any relationships beyond mere longing and the nature of his verse and ironically sad life have encouraged some critics to see him as a shy heterosexual or completely unsexual.
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