Brief Chronology of Lear’s Life
Born Highgate, north London, 12 May 1812, the twentieth child of Jeremiah and Ann Lear. Educated by two older sisters, Ann and Sarah.
1830: working on illustrations of the psittacidae (parrots); first published November.
1831/2: collaboraton with Gould on The Birds of Europe
1835/6: travels to Ireland, Lake District; becomes interested in landscape painting
1837-9: travels in Europe, and especially Italy
1841: publication of Views in Rome, containing 25 lithographs by Lear
1842-5: travels in Sicily and the Abruzzi
1846: publication of Illustrated Excursions in Italy; publication of the first edition of A Book of Nonsense, under the pseudonym Derry Down Derry.
1848/9: travels in Italy, Malta, Corfu, Greece, Egypt etc.
1850: first picture accepted by the Royal Academy
1851: publication of Journals of a Landscape Painter in Albania
1852: publication of Journals of a Landscape painter in Southern Calabria; association with Holman Hunt etc.
1853/4: spends winter in Egypt
1855: second edition of A Book of Nonsense
1856-8: travels to Albania, Greece, the Holy Land, etc.
1860: working on large oils, the Cedars of Lebanon and Masada
1861: his sister Ann dies in March; Cedars of Lebanon well received; third edition of A Book of Nonsense, under his own name.
1861-3: winters in Corfu & the Ionian Islands
1864: Corfu again, and winters in Nice
1865: writing the Nonsense Stories; winters in Malta
1866/7: winters in Egypt & the Holy Land; in December writes The Owl and the Pussycat
1868: travels in Corsica, winters in Cannes
1869: publication of his Journal of a Landscape Painter in Corsica
1870: buys land in San Remo. intending to settle there; Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets published in December, dated 1871
1871: More Nonsense published in December, dated 1872; moves into Villa Emily, San Remo
1872: arrival of Foss the cat
1872-5: travels in India and Ceylon
1876: publication of Laughable Lyrics, dated 1877
1877-81; spends time in England and Switzerland; moves into Villa Tennyson, San Remo in 1881
1887: Foss dies, November
1888: Lear dies in San Remo on 29 January