Sunday, 19 February 2012

Edward Lear

C was a lovely pussy cat
Its eyes were large and pale
And on its back it had some stripes
And several on its tail.

They took some honey 
And plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five pound note.

I thought I'd struggle to find domestic animals on stamps although I'm sure I remember seeing them.  In the end stamps commemorating the centenary of Edward Lear's death came to the rescue.

Edward Lear was a British writer and illustrator, and is probably best known for The Owl and the Pussy-Cat nonsense rhyme (all his rhymes could be described as nonsense).  I'll spare you the full version but I have to give you the final lines:
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand on the edge of the sand
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

After they were married, of course.

The one thing I remember most about him, though, is the fact that he was a 21st child. Twenty first!  I can't help feeling there has to be a link between that and his nonsense.  His poor mother!

This is a post for Sunday Stamps, now hosted by Violet Sky at "See it on a Postcard!"


  1. Great to see these stamps about Lear - I seem to miss out on modern issues as all letters I received are franked.
    21 Today must have had a different meaning for his mother.

  2. Deliciously runcible stamps. I had no idea that Lear made up the word - I just assumed it had some medieval origin. Yes, his poor mother - she must have been of hardy stock though because I know I would have just killed myself after the 3rd or 4th one ^_~ A great post.

  3. I love the Owl and the Pussy-cat! I never thought of it as nonsensical though. It always made perfect sense to me as a child.

  4. I am handling 3 right now and might be able to add a 4th, but after that I would throw in the towel. Did Lear do the drawings also?
    Thank you for some delightful stamps.

  5. Lovely Lear! I believe he was slightly odd - no surprise!

  6. 21st?? with such big families I always wonder how the parents manage to remember all their names and birthdays and make sure no child is missing...

    and Im not sure if I had heard about Edward Lear before, so thanks a lot for sharing!

  7. Wow, I had trouble even thinking about the stamps after reading 21st. I feel for his mother as well, cute stamps though.

  8. Well I don't I will ever read Lear again without thinking, 21! Great stamp cards, love the cat.

  9. No perfectly sane man could have produced what Lear managed... I don't think any perfectly sane woman would have survived 21 births!

  10. What lovely stamps, i love your blog visit my blog and follow me to


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