Edward Lear Drops Holman Hunt’s Letters (An Unpublished Letter)

The following is a note Edward Lear sent to William Holman Hunt explaining what happened to two of Hunt’s letters Lear was supposed to post from London. There is a short reference to the accident in today’s diary entry (19.ix.64):

3 PM. 19. Sept. /64
Stratford Place.

My dear Daddy,

I was miserably vexed this morning at what happened to your letters ― tho’ as no harm has come of my mishap you may forgive me. In taking out a letter from my jacket ^[front] pocket, I took out 2 of yours by mistake, & replaced them inadvertently in the similar pocket of my overcoat. This latter, finding myself too warm in walking, I took off, not supposing there was anything in the pockets, but unfortunately the 2 letters fell out, & were ― luckily, ― picked up by the man who brought down my luggage ― who posted them at the station. The 3 letters I posted myself. Thus, you see, your letters will not reach their destination sooner than they would have done from Burton. I was immensely disgusted, & shall remember a double pocket in future. I do not remember any such accident ever happened to me before.

Take care not to do too much with your lame leg.

Your affly. E. Lear.

I found a letter from F. Lushington: Mrs. F. is better, & they are going[.]

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The First Terror of the Tiny Tads


First instalment of Gustave Verbeek’s Terrors of the Tiny Tads, May 28, 1905.

On Verbeek here and at nonsenselit.org.

From Peter Maresca’s Origin of Sunday Comics series.

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Edward Lear, View of the Roman Campagna


Edward Lear, View of the Roman Campagna and the Alexandrine Aqueduct.
Signed with monogram (lower left). Watercolour heightened with white. 17.8 x 38.1cm (7 x 15in).


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Edward Lear Picks up a Candle and Goes to Bed

I found this on my hard disk; can anyone say where this letter to Gussie Bethell can be found?


“The Author of the Book of Nonsense takes up his candle & goes to bed.” Edward Lear, letter to Augusta Bethell of 12 December 1881.

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Edward Lear, Campagna di Roma


Edward Lear, Cervera, on the Roman Campagna.
Signed with monogram (lower right) and inscribed ‘CAMPAGNA DI ROMA’ (lower left). Pencil and watercolour, heightened with white and gum arabic. 10.1 x 20.3cm (4 x 8in).


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Edward Lear, Anadoluhisari, 1848


Edward Lear, Anadoluhisari, Istanbul, on the Bosphorus.
Inscribed and dated ‘Bosphorus./1. Sept. 1848′ (lower left) and again in pencil (lower right) and numbered ’17’ (lower right) and further inscribed with colour notes. Pencil, pen and brown ink and brown wash on paper. 10 ¾ x 14 in. (27.4 x 35.4 cm.).

Lear visited Constantinople in 1848 as the guest of Lady Canning, the wife of the British Ambassador in Turkey, setting off from Corfu with the Cannings on 30 May 1848 and travelling by way of Athens where he fell ill. Anadoluhisari is the fortress on the Anatolian side of the Bosphorus and gives its name to the Quarter around it. It was built between 1393 and 1394 by Ottoman Sultan Bayezid as part of the preparations for the 2nd Ottoman Seige of Constantinople which took place in 1395. It is the oldest architectural structure in Istanbul.


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Edward Lear, View of Deir Kadige, 1867 (1884)


Edward Lear, View of Deir Kadige, on the Nile, Egypt.
Signed with monogram and dated ‘.1884′ (lower right) and inscribed and dated ‘Deir Kadige. 1867′ (lower right) and numbered and inscribed ’67. Deir Kadige’ (verso). Pencil and watercolour. 3 ¾ x 7 ¼ in. (9.5 x 18.5 cm.).

Lear visited Egypt four times, firstly in 1848, then again in 1853 and 1854. The present watercolour dates to his final trip which was from the winter of 1866 to the spring of 1867. Lear often executed ‘on the spot’ sketches complete with colour notes that were then revisited years later and worked into more finished watercolours such as the present view, hence the second date of 1884. Another view of Deir Kadige by Lear is in the National Maritime Museum.

Lear met Thomas Baring, later the Earl of Northbrook, in February 1848, and described him as ‘an extremely luminous & amiable brick, & I like him very much…& I suppose he likes me or he wouldn’t take the trouble of knocking me up as he does considering the lot of people he might take to instead’ (Letter to Chichester Fortescue, 12 February 1848, in V. Noakes, Edward Lear: The Life of a Wanderer, London, 2006, p. 71). They became close friends and when Northbrook became Viceroy of India in 1871, Lear was invited to stay and spent over a year travelling through the country and staying in Vice-Regal houses.


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