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A Book of Nonsense

There was an Old Derry down Derry, who loved to see little folks merry;
So he made them a book, and with laughter they shook at the fun of that Derry down Derry.

The first edition was published by Thomas McLean on 10 February 1846. There were altogether seventy-two limericks in two volumes selling at 3s 6d each.

It was the convention at the time for children's books to be published anonymously, so there was no mention of Lear's name in the book. It finally appeared in the third edition, published by Routledge, Warne & Routledge in 1861. This contained the 112 limericks you can read in the following pages (Vorobely Anatoly's help in typing them was invaluable). Three limericks which were published in the 1846 edition were discarded and have been published only in recent editions.

The text I have used is the one in H. Jackson's The Complete Nonsense of EL, which is far from complete, actually; you will look in vain for the above limerick, for example, the one that appeared in the title page of the first edition. I took this from V. Noakes's biography.

Edward Lear, A Book of Nonsense, 1846, 1855, 1861
Title Page

[1-10], [11-20], [21-30], [31-40], [41-50], [51-60], [61-70], [71-80], [81-90], [91-100], [101-112],
Three discarded limericks.

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There was an Old Derry down Derry...
Edward Lear's Nonsense Poetry and Art

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