What could be a happier conjunction of subject and writer than Lear and Uglow? And there is even one of his parrots on the cover. How pleasant to be Miss Uglow!
This is the most ravishing biography of the season, gorgeously produced with decorative cloth boards quarter bound in wine-red cloth. The text is lavishly interspersed with reproductions of Lear’s marvellous landscapes and his drawings. Uglow’s sensitive approach links his nonsense poems – and drawings – to Lear’s life and character; she is gentle and not intrusive about his restless and complicated inner life, while setting him in the context of the Victorian art world. The extraordinary gifts of this most talented and unusual man are shown in endless flashes of humour – the sense of the absurd that matched his melancholy – as at the end of a postcard: “… must go now and draw a kangaroo…”. How pleasant to know Mr Lear rather better than before.