Slapstick humor is an art form, and Edward Lear was a master of it in both his poetry and illustrations. Born in England on May 12, 1812, the twentieth child of his parents, Jeremiah and Ann Lear, he was raised by an older sister after his father lost his fortune. A world traveler, Lear had a variety of interests. In 1830 he published his first work,Illustrations of the Family Psittacidae or Parrots, which earned him a reputation as an ornithological draughtsman. In 1835, he turned to landscapes and in 1846 to his nonsense poetry with the publication of A Book of Nonsense under the pen name Derry Down Derry. He had pictures accepted by the Royal Academy, gave art lessons to Queen Victoria, and set Tennyson’s poems to music. Edward Lear died in 1888..