A Few Links

Herbert E. Crowley, Fantastic Animals Left off the Ark, 1911-1924.

Herbert E. Crowley, Fantastic Animals Left off the Ark, 1911-1924.

I have been checking and fixing a few links in the bibliography pages and added a new, interesting article to the Studies on Edward Lear page:

Antinucci, Raffaella. “‘Sensational Nonsense.’ Edward Lear and the (Im)purity of Nonsense Writing.” English Literature 2.2 (2015): 291-311.
The article explores Edward Lear’s contribution to the Victorian aesthetic debate, characterized by a marked resistance to the literary use of sensation (epitomised in Wilkie Collins’ fiction), and in which, according to Bourdieau and to many critics after him, the so-called cultural divide between high art and mass culture originated. In particular, the analysis verifies the degree of ‘impureness’ of Lear’s nonsense, a hybrid genre that has often been apprehended as literarily and socially subversive. After a brief discussion of the main features of this genre and its acknowledged ‘parodic’ quality, the study examines Lear’s engagement with ‘high’ and ‘low’ literary conventions in «Growling Eclogue» and «Mr. and Mrs. Discobbolos» (whose second part was expressly written at Wilkie Collins’ suggestion), with the aim of investigating if and to what extent Lear’s crossing of genres and use of bizarre and at times grotesque literary images blur (and question) the boundaries between élite and popular culture.


The Digital Collections of the New York Public Library now include scans of the complete John James Audubon’s Birds of America. The collections also include twenty-five images by Edward Lear, mostly ornithological illustrations, but also two vignettes from Illustrated Excursions in Italy.


Finally, if you are interested in early comics and especially nonsensical ones, Matteo Maculotti has written a much-needed introduction (in Italian) to the baffling work of extraordinary artist Herbert E. Crowley, il visionario dimenticato.


The first Wiggle-Much strip of 20 March 1910.

It is now possible to read the whole series of Crowley’s enigmatic Sunday comic strip, The Wiggle Much (or Wiggle-Much, New York Herald 20 March – 19 June 1910) thanks to Justin Duerr, whose biography of Crowley is about to be published.

An unpublished Wiggle-Much strip (this is no. 16 and only 14 were published).

An unpublished Wiggle-Much strip (this is no. 16 and only 14 were published).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a rich collection of Crowley paintings and drawings which deserves to be seen.


Crowley, Bottledogs! Bottledogs! Who buy bottledogs?, ca1910.

Want something else? Here is the Hathi Trust facsimile of The Coronation Nonsense-Book. In the Style of the Old “Book of Nonsense” by the Late Edward Lear. By the Poet and Painter of “Clara in Blunderland” (Caroline Lewis). London: William Heinemann, 1902.


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