The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban Literary Studies

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeremy Tambling

Nonsensified Municipalities: Urbanization in Edward Lear’s Nonsense

  • Mou-Lan WongEmail author
Living reference work entry



Nonsense: As a genre, Nonsense consistently defies definition because it is often simultaneously self-deprecating and self-proliferating, polyphonus and vacuous, and synthetical and refined. The degree of nonsense in Nonsense is also inconsistent. Perhaps the only consistent feature of Nonsense Literature is its inconsistency. For instance, the works of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll are widely acknowledged to be archetypal Nonsense, and yet the two authors demonstrate drastically different and at times contradicting styles in writing and in applying the fundamental techniques of nonsense.


Urbanization in the nineteenth century reached an unprecedented degree in Victorian England. Industrial cities, such as Manchester and Liverpool, flourished and multiplied, while the city of London became the largest metropolis of the world with an estimated population of five million by the end of the century (Mitchell 1996...


Lear Nonsense Satire Lecercle Limericks Illustration 
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© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan