Edward Lear: Escape

Return to PART ONE

Citizens of Paradise: Lear’s Nonsense Escapes

In Non­sense Songs (1870) and Laugh­able Lyrics (1876), Edward Lear eschewed the con­strict­ed lim­er­ick struc­ture of A Book of Non­sense. Embrac­ing the Roman­ti­cism he once shunned, the poet­’s Cal­ibans are set free, blessed with trans­for­ma­tion and tran­scen­dence. In 1859, J.S. Mill had argued that, “when a person’s con­duct affects the inter­ests of no per­sons besides him­self … in all such cas­es there should be per­fect free­dom, legal and social.” [150] This is all the free­dom that the inhab­i­tants of Lear’s non­sense isles desire. Yet they must run away to find it.

“The Owl and the Pussy-cat” is a tale of star-crossed lovers. [151] Owls and pussy­cats, after all, make as like­ly a roman­tic pair as Mon­tagues and Capulets. One expects less ser­e­nad­ing, and more car­nage. Yet defy­ing cus­tom and nature alike, Lear’s lovers set sail in their “beau­ti­ful pea-green boat,” become engaged, and are mar­ried by a Turkey in the “land where the Bong-tree grows.” Like the pro­tag­o­nists of Lear’s lim­er­icks, the rad­i­cal indi­vid­u­al­i­ty of the Owl and Pussy-cat sets them apart from Vic­to­ri­an soci­ety, yet these roman­tic rogues do not die the deaths of their grim counterparts. 

Escap­ing per­se­cu­tion, they sail instead to dis­tant shores. As Christ taught the scribe: “birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” [152] Lear’s lovers and adven­tur­ers burn with a spark of the divine, as, in the name of love, the Owl and Pussy-cat tran­scend nest and home.

In Lear’s non­sense songs mar­riage becomes not a sex­u­al union, but the union of free spir­its. Yet there are sex­u­al under­tones. As Antho­ny Burgess writes, “the mar­riage is for­bid­den, the union of a bird and a mam­mal is denied by nature, like the union of a man and a man.” [153] On four occa­sions Lear states that the Pig­gy-wig is male, yet nei­ther the Owl nor Pussy-cat is gen­dered. On the one hand, this ambi­gu­i­ty fur­ther locates Lear’s poem in a dis­tinct­ly pre-sex­u­al world, whilst on the oth­er, leav­ing open the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a queer read­ing of the poem. Indeed, unlike the Owl and the Pussy-cat, the Dad­dy Long-Legs and Fly are both def­i­nite­ly male.

Lear nev­er mar­ried, and, with the excep­tion of Emi­ly Ten­nyson and his sis­ter, Ann, his inti­ma­cies were most­ly with men. Although the weight of opin­ion holds that Lear was gay, Peter Levi has argued that Lear was mere­ly a “frus­trat­ed man, who tried to mar­ry but failed, and that is all – there is no evi­dence what­ev­er of homo­sex­u­al­i­ty in his life.” [154] Sad­ly, Franklin Lush­ing­ton — Lear’s lit­er­ary execu­tor, and the man wide­ly per­ceived to be his lover — destroyed most of Lear’s let­ters and papers after the poet­’s death. [155] The stan­dard read­ing of Lear’s life –  shared by biog­ra­phers Vivien Noakes and Jack­ie Wullschlager – holds that Lear was “con­fused by his own con­flict between homo­sex­u­al long­ing and the pres­sure to mar­ry” in Vic­to­ri­an soci­ety. [156] Unable to live open­ly, the peri­patet­ic artist and poet escaped to for­eign shores, where he found com­fort in the arms of male com­pan­ions, and solace in the com­pa­ny of chil­dren (and cats). For many gay men of Lear’s time, the dic­tum was not so much “Go West” as “Go East”. 

As James Eli Adams writes, “sym­pa­thet­ic con­struc­tions of unortho­dox sex­u­al­i­ties, which would attempt to trans­form stig­ma into affir­ma­tion” were rare in Vic­to­ri­an lit­er­a­ture. [157] This is pre­cise­ly what Lear offered his read­ers. Yet Lear’s vision was not a whol­ly new one. The most obvi­ous antecedent of Lear’s non­sense lovers is “Hey Did­dle Did­dle,” in which a dish runs away with a spoon. Lear had him­self illus­trat­ed the famous nurs­ery rhyme. [158] Such mis­matched rela­tion­ships were also, to some extent, Bib­li­cal, and emerge from a “non­sense” tra­di­tion stretch­ing back to the Old Tes­ta­ment. Imag­in­ing a day when “the earth shall be full of the knowl­edge of the Lord,” [159] Isa­iah fore­saw that “the leop­ard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling togeth­er … and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” [160]

This anti-Dar­win­ian rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of war­ring beasts is cen­tral to Lear’s vision of par­adise, as love over­comes the inevitabil­i­ty of kind: cats and birds may wed, and dad­dy long-legs and flies become life part­ners. “The Owl and the Pussy-cat” also cel­e­brates the uni­fi­ca­tion of the two most impor­tant crea­tures in Lear’s life, the birds he was so famous for draw­ing as a young draughts­man, and his beloved cat Foss. Only in non­sense could these two aspects of Lear’s per­sona, one emblem­at­ic of his pro­fes­sion­al self, the oth­er his pri­vate and domes­tic, be reconciled.

Recre­ation Revolution

Unlike the soli­tary amuse­ments of A Book of Non­sense, the plea­sures of the non­sense songs are social. The Quan­gle Wan­gle, for instance, finds hap­pi­ness in the child­like com­pa­ny that joins him atop the Crum­pet­ty Tree, where “at night by the light of the Mul­ber­ry moon / They danced to the Flute of the Blue Baboon.” [161] In each instance, rap­ture is revealed in almost child­ish recre­ation: the Duck and Kan­ga­roo hop, the Owl and Pussy-cat dance, the Nut­crack­ers and the Sug­ar-tongs gal­lop, and the Dad­dy long-legs and Fly “play for ever­more / At bat­tle­cock and shut­tle­dore.” Freed like non­sense Cru­soes from the trap­pings of civil­i­sa­tion, Lear’s lovers escape to a com­ic iter­a­tion of Rousseau’s state of nature. [162] Unlike the adult world, in which “hap­pi­ness” is sought through wealth, title, pow­er and pres­tige, the hap­pi­ness of Lear’s new non­sense domain is found in intel­lec­tu­al and spir­i­tu­al lib­er­a­tion, a redis­cov­ery of nature, and in re-cre­ative play with like-mind­ed spir­its. The few glimpses of “civil­i­sa­tion” in the songs are neg­a­tive. For instance, the Cups, Saucers, Plates and Pans in “The Nut­crack­ers and the Sug­ar-tongs” are obsessed with order, pro­pri­ety and domes­tic­i­ty, trapped in the roles demand­ed of them by soci­ety, and so demand the same of oth­ers. [163]

As Lear was writ­ing, Britons were enjoy­ing a recre­ation rev­o­lu­tion. Ships and rail­ways grant­ed new and broad­er access to activ­i­ties pre­vi­ous­ly the pre­serve of a rul­ing elite. As Peter Bai­ley writes:

“[B]y the ear­ly [eigh­teen] fifties the major lines in the British rail sys­tem were com­plet­ed or under con­struc­tion … rail trav­el both stim­u­lat­ed a gen­er­al pub­lic curios­i­ty and helped to break down region­al insu­lar­i­ties of mind and prac­tice.” [164]

Cen­turies of Eng­lish parochial­ism were erod­ing in a cloud of steam and pos­si­bil­i­ty. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, sus­pi­cions were soon aroused about the con­se­quences of this steam-fuelled lib­er­ty. Under­min­ing the fab­ric of the social con­tract, and desta­bil­is­ing time-hon­oured dis­tinc­tions between the class­es, this trans­for­ma­tion had grant­ed the indi­vid­ual a “mobil­i­ty and anonymi­ty which removed him from that super­vi­sion by his fel­lows … [Super­vi­sion was] still regard­ed as a desir­able … con­straint upon indi­vid­ual con­duct.” [165] Empha­sis­ing the mot­ley char­ac­ter of the Vic­to­ri­an trav­eller, Lewis Carroll’s Through the Look­ing Glass fea­tures “a very queer car­riage-full of pas­sen­gers alto­geth­er,” includ­ing a goat, bee­tle, gnat and a gen­tle­man in white paper. [166] Whilst we nev­er learn where they are from, we cer­tain­ly know where they are going, for­ward, the only direc­tion pos­si­ble in the Look­ing Glass world, and — per­haps — in the new age that was dawning. 

Lear’s 1870 lim­er­ick about the Old Man at a Junc­tion, “wrung with com­punc­tion,” leaves the read­er under no illu­sions as to why such flight might be desir­able. [167] Although the rea­son for the Man’s “com­punc­tion” is left unstat­ed, the accusato­ry stance of his com­pan­ion points to some secret shame. Dev­as­tat­ed to have missed his train, the Old Man is unable to move, and, throw­ing his arms in the air “remained on the rails of the Junc­tion.” Whether he remains sui­ci­dal­ly upon the rails, Lear does not spec­i­fy, but his point is clear: the rail­way equals escape. To miss the train equals entrap­ment, or worse, death. [168]

Just as the long­ing for unsu­per­vised “mobil­i­ty and anonymi­ty” led the Nut­crack­ers and the Sug­ar-tongs to the “beau­ti­ful shore,” [169] and Edward Lear him­self to the Mediter­ranean, so were the vul­ner­a­ble or dement­ed denizens of his lim­er­icks trapped in an end­less Vic­to­ri­an night­mare of “super­vi­sion by [their] fel­lows.” [170] But by the time Lear pub­lished Non­sense Songs in 1870, escape final­ly seemed a pos­si­bil­i­ty. And not, as in 1861, just for the soli­tary Old Per­son of Basing.

Trans­for­ma­tive Topographies

Despite his poor health, Lear was an avid trav­eller, and quick­ly tired of Eng­land. To Emi­ly Ten­nyson in 1865 Lear wrote:

“I loathe Lon­don by the time [I] have been here a month. The walk­ing – sketch­ing – explor­ing – nov­el­type­r­ceiv­ing and beautyap­pre­ci­at­ing part of the Land­scape painter’s life is undoubt­ed­ly to be envied … the con­trast of the mon­eytry­ing to get, smoky­dark Lon­don life – fuss – trou­ble & bus­tle is whol­ly odi­ous, & every year more so.” [171]

Keen to indulge the “beautyap­pre­ci­at­ing” part of his char­ac­ter, Lear jour­neyed through Italy, Mal­ta, Cor­fu, Alba­nia, Egypt, Greece, Pales­tine and Lebanon, always sketch­ing, paint­ing and writ­ing. If Lon­don was the “smoky­dark” seat of a “mon­eytry­ing to get” Empire of Sense, and the city Rousseau’s “abyss of the human species,” [172] then the Mediter­ranean and Lev­ant exposed Lear to a “nov­el­type­r­ceiv­ing” Repub­lic of Nonsense. 

Like many Eng­lish­men drawn by the lure of the exot­ic, Lear was struck by the Turk­ish tol­er­ance of the pecu­liar, writing:

“[T]hey nev­er stare or won­der at any­thing … if you chose to take your tea while sus­pend­ed by your feet from the ceil­ing, not a word would be said, or a sign of amaze­ment betrayed.” [173]

This desire to find trans­for­ma­tive topogra­phies of won­der and accep­tance dri­ves the non­sense songs, and it was in such lands that they most­ly emerged from Lear’s pen. “The Owl & the Pussy-cat,” for instance, was writ­ten in Cannes, and in 1870 Lear pur­chased a prop­er­ty in San Remo, where he spent his final years writ­ing and sketching.

Although Lear’s lim­er­icks are also non­sense poet­ry, it is in his songs that he unleash­es his most famous nonce words and neol­o­gisms, and claims his final tri­umph over Vic­to­ri­an con­ven­tion­al­i­ty. To his con­tem­po­rary read­ers, “Gram­bleam­ble,” [174] “the Zem­mery Fidd,” [175] “the Jel­ly Bo Lee,” [176] and the “great Grom­boo­lian plain,” [177] would have sound­ed as remote and exot­ic as the Ori­ent through which Lear trekked. When the Jum­blies return home, they recall their jour­ney to “the Tor­ri­ble Zone / And the hills of the Chankly Bore.” [178] One can imag­ine Vic­to­ri­an chil­dren search­ing for such glo­ri­ous places on a map.

In Emile, Rousseau argued that trav­el “com­pletes the job of mak­ing [man] good or bad. Who­ev­er returns from roam­ing the world is, upon his return, what he will be for the rest of his life.” [179] For some, this was a process to embrace. For oth­ers, it was some­thing feared. As James Buzard writes, despite the insti­tu­tion of the Grand Tour, there was:

“[W]orry lest expo­sure to the out­side world [would] squan­der the poten­tial of the young rul­ing-class Eng­lish­man, encour­ag­ing him to ape out­landish man­ners rather than per­fect his own Eng­lish ones.” [180]

Emi­gra­tion from Great Britain led to con­cerns at home that the for­eign would dilute the sta­bil­i­ty of nation upon the wan­der­ers’ return. Yet trans­for­ma­tion was pre­cise­ly what Lear and many oth­er fugi­tive expa­tri­ates desired. Only by swim­ming the Chan­nel does the Pob­ble learn that “it’s a fact the whole world knows / That Pob­bles are hap­pi­er with­out their toes.” [181] He is not so strange and dis­or­dered after all.

The Jum­blies’ wan­der­lust burns in oppo­si­tion to the obscu­ran­tism of a closed soci­ety. [182] Like the Nut­crack­ers and Sug­ar-tongs, derid­ed for “awful delu­sion” by the Fry­ing-pan, [183] the Jum­blies depart “in spite of all their friends could say.” Jux­ta­posed against the hiss­ing Hei­deg­ger­ian “they” of the lim­er­icks, the Jum­blies board their sieve even when “every­one cried, ‘You’ll all be drowned!’” The sieve-as-boat forms a per­fect metaphor for the impos­si­ble dream made pos­si­ble by the sheer deter­mi­na­tion of the dream­er. When they return home, the Jum­blies’ soci­ety is trans­formed, and soon oth­ers cry: “We too will got to sea in a Sieve, / To the hills of the Chankly Bore!” It is a glo­ri­ous val­i­da­tion of their escape. The rev­o­lu­tion, impos­si­ble in Lear’s lim­er­icks, is at last fulfilled.

Although much of Lear’s own trav­el in the east was facil­i­tat­ed by con­nec­tions to the British state abroad, [184] there is some­thing dis­tinct­ly anti-impe­ri­al­ist about Lear’s trav­ellers, and they — most­ly — rise above Vic­to­ri­an Ori­en­tal­ism. The Jum­blies are wan­der­ers, not set­tlers. They return from for­eign lands, not with colonies, loot or slaves, but self-knowl­edge. [185] Unin­ter­est­ed in land or empire, the Owl and the Pussy-cat set to sea for love, and the Dad­dy Long-legs and Fly depart for games of “bat­tle­cock and shuttledore.”

The Duck and the Kangaroo

Writ­ten for Sir Edward Strachey’s chil­dren, [186] “The Duck and the Kan­ga­roo” is Lear’s ear­li­est non­sense song. [187] The Duck, that quin­tes­sen­tial­ly Eng­lish and bucol­ic bird, meets Kan­ga­roo, that quin­tes­sen­tial­ly for­eign and undo­mes­ti­cat­ed beast. Lament­ing that “my life is a bore in this nasty pond,” Duck yearns to see the world, and longs to leap and hop “as if you nev­er would stop!” Itin­er­ary devised, Duck says “we’d go to the Dee, and the Jel­ly Bo Lee / Over the land, and over the sea.” As Mon­taigne once exclaimed: “good heav­ens, how I should chafe if I were reduced to the con­di­tion of so many peo­ple … riv­et­ed to a dis­trict of the king­dom.” [188]

For the chaf­ing Duck, the mus­cu­lar bound­ing of the kan­ga­roo becomes a sym­bol of escape. Kan­ga­roo’s unlike­ly appari­tion in the Eng­lish coun­try­side makes Duck­’s dreams pos­si­ble at last. Some­what unex­pect­ed­ly per­haps, the hum­ble bird mas­ter­minds this extrav­a­gant scheme, with the Kan­ga­roo an ini­tial­ly reluc­tant accom­plice. Unlike Duck, who thinks only of lib­er­ty, the Kan­ga­roo shares the reader’s scep­ti­cism about their unlike­ly match. Although, like the Owl and Pussy-cat, nei­ther ani­mal is gen­dered, they are super­fi­cial­ly incom­pat­i­ble. Not only do the ani­mals look so strik­ing­ly dis­sim­i­lar — the Kan­ga­roo drawn tow­er­ing over the tiny bird — but, as the mar­su­pi­al remarks: “there seems but one objec­tion / Which is, if you’ll let me speak so bold / Your feet are unpleas­ant­ly wet and cold.” It is the ter­ror of all lovers that their bod­ies will repulse their beloved and be reject­ed. At the heart of Lear’s non­sense is an aching med­i­ta­tion on that sense of oth­er­ness, and the atten­dant long­ing for tran­scen­dence, that all prospec­tive lovers feel. But the amorous Duck per­sists. Duck responds to Kangaroo’s objec­tions with cool exhortation:

I have thought over that completely,

And I have bought four pairs of worsted socks

Which fit my web-feet neatly.

And to keep out the cold I’ve bought a cloak,

And every day a cig­ar I’ll smoke,

All to fol­low my own dear true

Love of a Kangaroo!

Duck’s love tri­umphs over biol­o­gy, and anni­hi­lates the restric­tive tax­on­o­my of phy­lum, genus, species. Per­suad­ed by Duck’s devot­ed rhetoric, the Kan­ga­roo pro­ceeds to bal­ance the bird upon his tail “in the moon­light pale”:

So away they went with a hop and a bound,

And they hopped the whole world three times round;

And who so hap­py, — O who,

As the Duck and the Kangaroo?

It is a tri­umphant image. Duck, once a cit­i­zen of a lone­ly pond, is now a cit­i­zen of the world. The poem begins with Duck’s yearn­ing cry, “I wish I could hop like you.” By the end, bal­anced on his lover’s tail, he does not need to.

Byron­ic Wanderers

Despite the exu­ber­ance of “The Quan­gle Wangle’s Hat,” many of the poems in Laugh­able Lyrics explore the sad­der dimen­sions of escape, thus adding nuance and com­pli­ca­tion to the more tri­umphant themes of Non­sense Songs. Rather than trace the adven­tures of more mis­matched lovers, “The Pel­i­can Cho­rus,” for instance, focus­es upon the par­ents of a Pel­i­can princess, named Dell, who has fall­en in love with the Crane King. [189] Rather than fol­low the lovers to for­eign shores – the Grom­boo­lian Plain and Chankly Bore back again – the poem remains at home with the King and Queen. For the first time, Lear deals with the con­se­quences of escape for those left behind, and por­trays the sad­ness of those whose loved-ones have — quite lit­er­al­ly — flown the roost. The tri­umph of Dell’s escape is mere­ly coun­ter­point to their loss. And yet, although the Pel­i­cans realise “we prob­a­bly nev­er shall meet again,” the song con­cludes with the non­sense refrain:

Ploff­skin, Pluff­skin, Pel­i­can jee!

We think no Birds so hap­py as we!

Plump­skin, Ploshkin, Pel­i­can jill!

We think so then, and we thought so still!

The Pel­i­cans are “hap­py” again, but only after resign­ing them­selves to the fact that escape and loss are inti­mate­ly linked, and by turn­ing, like Lear, to the heal­ing pow­er of the absurd.

Engag­ing dialec­ti­cal­ly with his ear­li­er songs, Lear’s last great poem, “The Dong with a Lumi­nous Nose,” is a beau­ti­ful med­i­ta­tion upon lost love. [190] It tells the sto­ry of the Dong, who falls in love with a Jumbly Girl “who came to those shores one day.” The fourth stan­za (and half of the fifth) read like Non­sense Songs, the mer­ry mis­matched lovers singing and danc­ing, with the “live­ly Dong … always there / By the side of the Jumbly Girl so fair.” But theirs is a doomed love. For the Jum­blies to return tri­umphant­ly home – as we know they must – the Dong must be left behind. Lear repeats the reprise from “The Jum­blies,” only now it is the song of the lone­ly Dong, “gaz­ing for­ev­er more” at the hori­zon that brought him such bliss, and now such sor­row. From that “hate­ful day,” the topog­ra­phy of the Chankly Bore, so exot­ic and invit­ing in “The Jum­blies,” becomes instead a dark­ened land­scape, a “cru­el shore” over which “storm-clouds brood on the tow­er­ing heights.” It is a dark Roman­tic land­scape, and recalls the “waste / And soli­tary places” of Shelley’s “Julian and Mad­da­lo” (1819). [191]

Sig­nif­i­cant­ly, the poem asks the ques­tion: where are Mr Dad­dy Long-legs and Mr Flop­py Fly, who, we were told in Non­sense Songs, “play for ever­more / At bat­tle­cock and shut­tle­dore” on the great Grom­boo­lian plain? And where are Dell and the Crane King? Once a ludic par­adise of Vir­gilian bliss, now, in the time of the Dong “awful dark­ness and silence reign” over those same lands. Thus aban­doned, the roman­ti­cal­ly impo­tent Dong applies the tit­u­lar appa­ra­tus to his face:

A nose as strange as a Nose could be!

Of vast pro­por­tions and paint­ed red,

And tied with cords to the back of his head.

- In a hol­low round­ed space it ended

With a lumi­nous Lamp with­in suspended

Guid­ed by the light of his nose, “ever he seeks, but seeks in vain / To meet with his Jumbly Girl again.” Wullschlager likens him to a non­sense Byron, [192] trapped by Roman­tic delu­sion, and Noakes to Deme­ter. [193] And yet, even in his sad­ness, the Dong’s strange pro­tu­ber­ance trans­forms him from some­thing base and ruined, into some­thing tran­scen­dent and celes­tial, “a fiery spark,” likened by those who watch from the tow­er to a “mete­or bright / Mov­ing along through the drea­ry night.” Like Lear, whose only hope of mar­riage had final­ly failed by then, [194] the Dong car­ries his moment of lost hap­pi­ness with­in him ever­more, like a poem writ­ten for a child, or the light at the end of a glo­ri­ous nose. Even as the sun final­ly sets on the Grom­boo­lian plain, with the Dad­dy long-legs and Fly, like Dell, the Crane and Jum­blies, gone away, the Dong’s light shines in the dark­ness. It is a potent sym­bol of Lear’s endur­ing genius.

God is Nonsense

Lit­tle has been writ­ten about Edward Lear, and much that is writ­ten is out of print, or of mod­est val­ue. Yet his poet­ry is extra­or­di­nary, and has just­ly attract­ed the inter­est of writ­ers as diverse as Ten­nyson, Ruskin, Chester­ton, Burgess, Auden, Orwell and Hux­ley, gath­ered togeth­er in sym­pa­thy and song like the mot­ley crew atop the Quan­gle Wangle’s hat. And mil­lions of chil­dren have joined them there.

If A Book of Non­sense and More Non­sense used lim­er­icks to expose and con­demn the destruc­tive forces in Vic­to­ri­an Britain, then Lear’s non­sense songs tran­scend­ed them. Antho­ny Burgess, reflect­ing upon “The Owl and the Pussy-cat,” encap­su­lat­ed the tri­umph of the Leare­an escape thus:

“[Its] joy is unqual­i­fied … the grace of a great light in the sky and an eter­nal ocean – on whose verge the bridal pair dare to dance – sanc­ti­fies all impos­si­bil­i­ties. Life is big­ger than Vic­to­ri­an Eng­land. Non­sense means what we can­not under­stand. God is non­sense.” [195]

Lear’s great­est tri­umph was to take two dan­ger­ous ideas – that soci­ety can be cru­el, destruc­tive and unjust, and that, giv­en enough imag­i­na­tion, com­pas­sion, love and courage, the indi­vid­ual may yet find hap­pi­ness – and make them both ridicu­lous­ly fun­ny. Eng­lish lan­guage chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture would nev­er be the same again.


[150] Mill, On Lib­er­ty, p.139.

[151] Noakes (ed.), Com­plete Verse, p.238.

[152] St. Matthew 8:20.

[153] Burgess, Homage, p.303.

[154] Levi, Edward Lear, p.31.

[155] Wullschlager, Invent­ing Won­der­land, p.81.

[156] Ibid, p.83.

[157] James Eli Adams, “Vic­to­ri­an Sex­u­al­i­ties,” in Her­bert F. Tuck­er, ed. A Com­pan­ion to Vic­to­ri­an Lit­er­a­ture & Cul­ture, (Oxford: Black­well, 1999) p.135.

[158] Iona & Peter Opie (eds.), The Oxford Dic­tio­nary of Nurs­ery Rhymes, 2nd Edi­tion (Oxford: Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 1997), p.240–242.

[159] Isa­iah 11:9.

[160] Isa­iah 11:6.

[161] Noakes (ed.), Com­plete Verse, p.392.

[162] Rousseau, Emile, Book Two, p.87.

[163] Noakes (ed.), Com­plete Verse, p.272–273.

[164] Bai­ley, “The Vic­to­ri­an Mid­dle Class & The Prob­lem of Leisure”, p.16.

[165] Ibid, p.20–21.

[166] Car­roll, Anno­tat­ed Alice, p.180.

[167] Noakes (ed.), Com­plete Verse, p.328.

[168] It may well be that this is anoth­er sui­cide lim­er­ick, and time­ly too. Ander­son writes that: “the ear­ly Vic­to­ri­an years … were not the first age of rail­way sui­cide … trains were hard­ly ever used as a means of self-destruc­tion until 1868. In that year a total of 20 men threw them­selves under trains … sud­den­ly this became the fash­ion­able method.” Ander­son, Sui­cide in Vic­to­ri­an and Edwar­dian Eng­land, p.371–2.

[169] Noakes (ed.), Com­plete Verse, p.273.

[170] Bai­ley, “The Vic­to­ri­an Mid­dle Class & The Prob­lem of Leisure”, p.21.

[171] Noakes (ed.), Select­ed Let­ters, p.204–5.

[172] Rousseau, Emile, Book One, p.59.

[173] Edward Lear, quot­ed in Noakes, Life of a Wan­der­er, p.92.

[174] Noakes (ed.), Com­plete Verse, p.193

[175] Ibid, p.423

[176] Ibid, p.207.

[177] Ibid, p.248.

[178] Ibid, p.255.

[179] Rousseau, Emile, Book Five, p.455.

[180] James Buzard, “Then on the Shore of the Wide World: The Vic­to­ri­an Nation and its Oth­ers”, in Her­bert F. Tuck­er, ed. A Com­pan­ion to Vic­to­ri­an Lit­er­a­ture & Cul­ture (Oxford: Black­well, 1999), p.446.

[181] Noakes (ed.), Com­plete Verse, p.398.

[182] Ibid, p.253–6.

[183] Ibid, p.273

[184] Noakes, Life of a Wan­der­er, p.86.

[185] See Chloe Chard for an excel­lent intro­duc­tion to Vic­to­ri­an con­cep­tions of “the tourist.” Chloe Chard, Plea­sure and Guilt on the Grand Tour (Man­ches­ter: Man­ches­ter Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 1999), p.11.

[186] Noakes (ed.), Com­plete Verse, p.500.

[187] Ibid, p.207–9.

[188] Mon­taigne, Michel de, The Essays of Mon­taigne, Vol­ume One, trans. E.J. Trench­man (Lon­don: Oxford Univ. Press, 1927), p.548

[189] Noakes (ed.), Com­plete Verse, p.413–4.

[190] Ibid, p.422.

[191] Per­cy Bysshe Shel­ley, The Major Works, Zachary Leader & Michael O’Neill, eds. (Oxford: Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2003), p.213.

[192] Wullschlager, Invent­ing Won­der­land, p.88.

[193] Noakes, Life of a Wan­der­er, p.227

[194] Ibid, p.219.

[195] Burgess, Homage, p.303.