Books: How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear

EDWARD LEAR, THE LIFE OF A WANDERER by Vivien Noakes. 359 pages. Houghton Miffllin. $8.95.

Among the small wonders of the great age of Queen Victoria is the fact that the Queen herself once had a drawing master who wrote The Owl and the Pussy-Cat. Subsidized as they were with honey and plenty of money wrapped up in a five-pound note, the owl and the pussycat went on to achieve that monumental Victorian ideal, a happy marriage. Their creator, Edward Lear, however, never wed, though he sometimes used to talk sentimentally about marriage as...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!