The Times Literary Supplement for 3 February has not one, not two, but three articles on Edward Lear:
Adam Kendon’s “Edward Lear Painting Parrots” is a review of Robert McCracken Peck’s recent The Natural History of Edward Lear;
Ben Westwood’s “Lear and the Fool” reviews Edward Lear and the Play of Poetry, and
Barbara Everett’s “Better than Great: Good” is the text of a December 2016 “address given at the Institute of Advanced Study, University of London, at an event to mark the publication of Edward Lear and the Play of Poetry.”
This last concludes:
Edward Lear is surely better than great: he is good. He makes a brilliance or a radiance out of those who inhabit a kind of nonsensical underside of society, the defeated from birth, still capable of flight…, the lonely who can write, all the loving-unloved, the cats with half a tail.
Unfortunately all these essays are available only to subscribers.
I’ve had a long life of digesting praise for our Edward. Young I was delighted he was getting his due. Later I noted it was mainly more of the same with different adjectives. Old I have to admit it discovers new angles for appreciation. However, the man is still found to be “radiating” full steam. My query is whether anyone has ever dared dislike his work? Have there been no naysayers at all? Here’s a new avenue of research.