Troublesome beards & delightful limericks: Edward Lear’s A Book of Nonsense (1861)

Illustration of 'There was an Old Man with a Beard ' - a limerick from Edward Lear’s A Book of Nonsense

Apparently Beards Are Back! And you must keep on top of your beard or they become unmanageable; plucking and trimming – shampoo and beard oil required.

The great age of the beard was the Victorian era. And to judge from this illustration the Victorians struggled with beard grooming as we do today. Perhaps seeing so much out of control facial hair is what inspired the above illustration and limerick from Edward Lear’s A Book of Nonsense, 3rd ed (1861).

“There was an Old Man with a beard,

Who said, “It is just as I feared! —

Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,

Have all built their nests in my beard.”

 

Troublesome cough? Sleep the sleep of the dead …

'One Night Cough Syrup', manufactured in Baltimore, USA (1888). Ingredients: Alcohol, Cannabis Indica, Chloroform and Morphia

Troublesome cough? Introducing One Night Cough Syrup, manufactured in Baltimore, USA (1888). Ingredients: Alcohol, Cannabis Indica, Chloroform and Morphia. ‘Skillfully combined with a number of other ingredients’. I have no doubt that it put them to sleep, but did they wake up again?!

 

Eaten BY a dinosaur or eating IN a dinosaur? First = Bad, Second = good

Illustration of a New Year's Eve dinner inside an iguana

A lovely illustration of a famous New Year’s Eve dinner inside a iguanadon (1853). Present were paleontologist, R. Owen, paleoartist B.W. Hawkins – and various scientists and newspaper editors.

And here are my only two dinosaur jokes:

What do you call a short-sighted dinosaur? “Do-you-think-he-saw-us”
What do you call a short-sighted dinosaur’s dog? “Do-you-think-he-saw-us-Rex”

[Deafening silence, I’ll get my coat]

The Comb of Pearl (1897) as illustrated by James Carter Beard (USA)

The Comb of Pearl (1897) as illustrated by James Carter Beard

The Comb of Pearl –  from the book The Hall of Shells, written by Mrs. A. S. Hardy (pub. 1897). Illustrated by James Carter Beard (US, 1837-1938).

Beard (1850-1941) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio (USA) into a family of artists. As a youth, he explored the woods and made sketches of nature. He illustrated a number of books for Mark Twain – and many others.