Britain’s Audubon and Edward Lear

Booktryst: A Nest for Book Lovers has a beautifully illustrated post on Edward Lear’s difficult relationship with John Gould, “Britain’s Audubon.” The conclusion quotes Lear’s famous reaction when he heard of Gould’s death in 1881:

John Gould’s desire to be held in esteem as an artist and writer caused him to needlessly take credit where credit was not due. Upon Gould’s death in 1881, the usually affable Lear wrote, “He was one I never liked really, for in spite of a certain jollity and bonhommie [sic], he was a harsh and violent man… [A] persevering hard working toiler in his own line, but ever as unfeeling for those about him… He owed everything to his excellent wife,—& to myself, without whose help in drawing he had done nothing.”

Nancy Mattoon, the author of the post, also links to the highly-recommended Cornell University site devoted to Lear’s work as a zoological illustrator: Never Mind the Pussycat: The Ornithological Art of Edward Lear.

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