‘Verily I am an odd bird’, Edward Lear wrote in his diary in 1860. This lecture examines a range of odd encounters between birds and people in Lear’s paintings, illustrations, and poems. It considers how his interest in birds – an interest at once scientific and aesthetic – helped to shape his nonsense writings. Dr Matthew Bevis suggests that poetic and pictorial lines of flight became, for Lear, a means of exploring the claims that art might make on our attention, and the insights that this attention may foster.
Dr Matthew Bevis
Lecturer in English and a Fellow of Keble College, University of Oxford
About the speaker:
Matthew Bevis is a Lecturer in English and a Fellow of Keble College at the University of Oxford. He is the author of The Art of Eloquence: Byron, Dickens, Tennyson, Joyce (2007), Some Versions of Empson, ed. (2007), and Comedy: A Very Short Introduction (2012).
This lecture will be repeated on Wednesday 28 November 2012 at the University of York. Click here to download a flyer for the event (PDF file - 199 KB).
This lecture examines a range of odd encounters between birds and people in Lear’s paintings, illustrations, and poems.