I'm something of an addict of the BBC Radio 4 website. In fact the day when I can just pop online and subscribe directly to the BBC to access radio and television will be a wonderful thing. I REALLY wanted to do that during the past Olympics, where the American broadcasts were full of idiotic announcers who were clueless to (among other facts) the identity of Tim Berners-Lee, one of the folk who invented the web - even though they had been provided with press materials that stated who he was. (I know this because I could download that same material from the UK website, even as a private citizen/non-press person.) Not to mention they had a staff of assistants and producers who could, you know, just google.
Edward Lear was one of the first poets I was exposed to, and I still remember the odd drawings that accompanied the text in the book. The nice thing about this audio episode of the Great Lives series is that the life of Lear is discussed, as well as his works. In a sort of panel discussion of his work. (One of the panel is Vivien Noakes, who has written about Lear: Edward Lear: Life of a Wanderer.)
Time: 24 min
"Series of biographical discussions with Matthew Parris. Nicholas Parsons nominates artist and writer Edward Lear, now remembered best for The Owl and the Pussycat, The Jumblies and other nonsense verse for children."
Lear suffered epileptic seizures and apparently spent a great deal of his life hiding his epilepsy. From the wikipedia page: "He suffered from periods of severe melancholia which he referred to as "the Morbids."" Which makes it even more sad, yet at the same time lovely, that all the poems I remember of his are happy nonsense, that I truly enjoyed. At least he knew in his lifetime how much fun he brought to others with his verse.
If you liked this audio you can subscribe to the series as a podcast - just check under Great Lives (possibly as GreatLives, depending on your podcast setup).
Works by Edward Lear at Gutenberg: here!