Edward Lear, an Englishman, was born in 1812. He became famous for writing limericks, which became a popular form of short, humorous verse, often nonsensical and frequently ribald. In his time he was known as an accomplished painter and draughtsman. He made some impressive studies of the Italian landscape and was employed to give drawing lessons to Queen Victoria. Today he is best known for writing the Book of Nonsense that he sold outright for a small sum of ? 125. He suffered from epileptic fits and died a very unhappy man.