Edward Lear by Jackie Wullschlager

Edward Lear, by Jackie Wullschlager
… His fantastical characters mirror the passage of his own life. The Yonghy Bonghy Bo’s hilarious courtship of Lady Jingly Jones parallels his own failed attempts at proposing to a female friend who might have accepted him; just a shred of absurdity links the sad, ridiculous Dong with a Luminous Nose, half-menacing, half-pathetic, to the world of nonsense where at the end of Lear’s life “awful darkness and silence reign/ Over the great Gromboolian plain”. What gives depth to his escapist fantasies is the ability to transform emptiness and pain into a unique, attractive nonsense world, with its own evolving characters and landscape: the Jumblies, the great Gromboolian plain, the hills of the Chankly Bore…
Penguinclassics.com

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