Tne Complete Verse and Other Nonsense by Edward Lear

Limericks are gloriously simple. Five lines long. Lines one and two rhyme with the fifth, while the third and fourth have a separate rhyme. Popularised by Edward Lear (1812-1888), limericks are the best known variety of nonsense verse and are adored by school children, stand-up comedians and fans of word-play. There is a certain train of thought that the only good limerick is a bawdy one but that would exclude a lot of clever verse.

Born on 12 May (National Limerick Day in some parts), Lear is a fascinating figure who travelled widely despite suffering from ill health throughout his life. An accomplished artist (especially in ornithology and landscapes), illustrator and author, he will always be most famous for his Book of Nonsense from 1846. It’s time to rhyme.

"There was an old man of Calcutta,
Who perpetually ate bread and butter;
Till a great bit of muffin on which he was stuffing,
Choked that horrid old man of Calcutta."
-- Book of Nonsense

Five Books From Edward Lear

Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear
Book of Nonsense
Edward Lear

The book that started it all, first published in 1846 and republished many times since.
Nonsense Songs & Stories by Edward Lear
Nonsense Songs & Stories
Edward Lear

First published in 1871, subsequent publications continued to add material.
Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets by Edward Lear
Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets
Edward Lear

The nonsense just kept coming.
The Jumblies by Edward Lear
The Jumblies
Edward Lear

Edward Gorey loved Lear’s work and provided illustrations for this 1968 book.
The Scroobious Pip by Edward Lear
The Scroobious Pip
Edward Lear

Odgen Nash completed this work and it was published in 1968.

Lots of Limerick Collections

The Penguin Book of Limericks
The Penguin Book of Limericks

Rhymes, many indecent, from Twain, Kipling, Auden and plenty by Anon too.
Great Green Limericks by Jonathon Porritt
Great Green Limericks
Jonathon Porritt

Selected limericks from The Observer newspaper’s Great Green Limerick Competition.
A Person from Britain Whose Head Was the Shape of a Mitten  by N.M. Bodecker
A Person From Britain Whose Head Was the Shape of a Mitten
N.M. Bodecker

A short collection of this Danish poet's nonsense poems and drawings.

Asimov's Sherlockian Limericks by Isaac Asimov
Asimov's Sherlockian Limericks
Isaac Asimov

Yes, Asimov wrote limericks about Sherlock Holmes!
Pop-up Limericks by Cerf
Pop-up Limericks
Cerf Bennett

A pop-up book full of very corny limericks for kids.
The Bookman's Limericks by John Dunning
The Bookman's Limericks
John Dunning

“There was an old man from Nantucket, who found an old book in a bucke...”
Limericks by Betty Jane Wagner & Edward Gorey
Limericks
Betty Jane Wagner & Edward Gorey

A collection of limericks for children.
Liquid Limericks: Titillation for Tipplers by Oliver Preston
Liquid Limericks: Titillation for Tipplers
Oliver Preston

A collection limericks for all boozy endeavours.
Lots of Limericks by Lewis Untermeyer
Lots of Limericks
Lewis Untermeyer

A collection featuring many famous names – Lear, Carroll, Nash, Kipling.
The Limerick by G. Legman
The Limerick
G. Legman

1,700 examples of bawdy limericks.
Limericks Too Gross or Two Dozen Dirty Stanzas by Isaac Asimov & John Ciardi
Limericks: Too Gross or Two Dozen Dirty Stanzas
Isaac Asimov & John Ciardi

A witty collection of more than 550 limericks from two world-famous writers.
Lecherous Limericks by Isaac Asimov
Lecherous Limericks
Isaac Asimov

The master of science fiction loved filthy verse.
Playboy's Book of Limericks
Playboy's Book of Limericks

Many outrageous limericks.
More of the World's Best Dirty Limericks
More of the World's Best Dirty Limericks

Dirty verse accompanied by cartoons.
The World's Best Limericks
The World's Best Limericks

The best printable limericks, as well as some which in their original form were not.

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