The short story is often viewed as an inferior relation to the Novel. But it is an art in itself. To take a story and distil its essence into fewer pages while keeping character and plot rounded and driven is not an easy task. Many try and many fail. In this series we look at short stories from many of our most accomplished writers. Miniature masterpieces with a lot to say. In this volume we examine some of the short stories of Edward Lear. Ah, Nonsense! The English, it is often said, have a peculiar brand of humour. Along with copious cups of tea and a stiff upper lip it keeps life together in moments of difficulty and strife. One of our most-loved humourists is Edward Lear, famed throughout the world for his nonsense verse and limericks. Born in Holloway, North London, Lear was the 21st child of Ann and Jeremiah Lear, and raised by his sister, Ann, who was, of course, 21 years older than Edward. His early life was unsettled, prone to illness, especially epileptic fits which gave him a character coloured with guilt and shame. However by his 30s he had published his first book of limericks in which his touching drawings were also displayed. His early works as an artist are easily recognised, but his later works such as "The Owl and the Pussycat" and "The Jumblies" have established him first and foremost as a writer of humourous verse. Lear travelled widely during his years and eventually settled in San Remo, in Italy, eventually succumbing to death in 1876. On his headstone are inscribed these lines from Tennyson's "To E.L. [Edward Lear], On His Travels in Greece": ...all things fair. With such a pencil, such a pen. You shadow forth to distant men, I read and felt that I was there." Many of these stories are also available as an audiobook from our sister company Word Of Mouth. Many samples are at our youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/PortablePoetry?feature=mhee The full volume can be purchased from iTunes, Amazon and other digital stores. They are read for you by James Taylor.