Edward Lear (1812 - 1888) was an artist and writer, well known for his nonsensical poetry and limericks, which he popularised. He was born in London and was the twentieth child of his parents. He started work as an illustrator and his first publication was Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots in 1830. In 1846, he published A Book of Nonsense, a volume of limericks which helped to popularize the form and which went through three editions. In 1865 The History of the Seven Families of the Lake Pipple-Popple was published and in 1867, his most famous piece of nonsense, The Owl and the Pussycat which he wrote for the children of his patron Edward Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby. Many other works followed.