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Edward Lear Papers - Part 1, 1863-1870

 File — Box: 2, Folder: 32
Identifier: Folder 32

Scope and Contents

This folder contains items 1-12 from the collection of 22 letters regarding Edward Lear, as well as a list of Lear's paintings, 1839-1857, inscribed to Henry Austin Bruce. The correspondence covers topics such as travels and visits to see friends, politics, Lear's paintings, and personal matters. Some of the people mentioned in the letters are William Napier, Holman Hunt, Chichester Fortescue, Oliver Jones and Penry Williams. Edward Lear, artist and author, was born in London, England, in 1812. He was employed by the Zoological Society of London and the British Museum as an artist, and later by the 13th Earl of Derby. He travelled widely in Europe, making landscape sketches and oil paintings which he published in several travel books, including Sketches of Rome, 1842, and Illustrated Excursions in Italy, 1846. He entertained children with nonsense limericks and verse, illustrated by his own sketches, and published as A Book of Nonsense, 1846. His other humour includes Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets, 1870, More Nonsense Rhymes, 1871, and Laughable Lyrics, 1876. Lear died in 1888. Henry Austin Bruce, first Lord Aberdare was born on April 16, 1815. He was married in 1845 to Annabella Beadon. They moved back to Glamorgan, Wales. She died in 1852 and he remarried in 1854. "His second wife was Nora Creina Blanche (d. 1897), younger daughter of Sir William Napier, the historian of the Peninsular War, of whom Bruce edited a Life in 1864." From 1847 to 1852 he was stipendiary magistrate of Merthyr Tudful. In December 1852, he was elected member of Parliament for Merthyr Tudful. "In November 1862, however, he accepted an under-secretaryship at the Home Office, where he remained until 1864." Bruce was active in education reform. "Bruce became home secretary in December 1868 in Gladstone's first government but he sat for Renfrewshire..." "Bruce remained home secretary until 9 August 1873." He then was offered three appointments of which he chose lord presidentship of the council. Bruce then became Baron Aberdare. However, he only held the lord presidentship until February 1874. Although he "attended the House of Lords regularly during his remaining twenty-one years, 1874 marked the end of his official political life." Some information is from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Former accession number MSS 78-32. Letters purchased from Bernard Quaritch Ltd., 5-8 Lower John Street, Golden Square, London, 41R 4AU. Collection is available online.


  • Created: 1863-1870

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

From the Collection: French

From the Collection: Italian

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

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