Alfred Lord Tennyson

Who is Alfred Lord Tennyson ?
Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria’s reign and remains one of the most popular British poets.

Alfred Tennyson was born when ?
August 6th, 1809, at Somersby, Lincolnshire,4/12 children of George and Elizabeth Tennyson.

Critics in those days delighted in the harshness of their reviews
Tennyson was always sensitive to criticism, the mixed reception of his 1832 Poems hurt him greatly.John Wilson Croker’s harsh criticisms of some of the poems in our anthology kept Tennyson from publishing again for another nine years.

Ended his engagement to Emily Sellwood, whom he had met at his brother Charles’s wedding to her sister Louisa.
Tennyson, who did not have enough money to marry.

Tennyson, only 41, had written some of his greatest poetry, but he continued to write and to gain in popularity.
In 1853, as the Tennyson’s were moving into their new house on the Isle of Wight, Prince Albert dropped in unannounced. His admiration for Tennyson’s poetry helped solidify his position as the national poet, and Tennyson returned the favor by dedicating The Idylls of the King to his memory.

Queen Victoria later summoned him to court several times, and at her insistence he accepted his title.
Having declined it when offered by both Disraeli and Gladstone.

Tennyson suffered from extreme short-sighted .
Without a monocle he could not even see to eat; which gave him considerable difficulty writing and reading, and this disability in part accounts for his manner of creating poetry.

How did Tennyson record is poems if seeing was difficult meaning he couldn’t write them ?
Tennyson composed much of his poetry in his head, occasionally working on individual poems for many years.

All Tennyson Undergraduate work in Cambridge
He often did not bother to write down his compositions, although the Apostles continually prodded him to do so.

Tennyson was born in what age ?
The peerage in 1884.

Was sent in 1815 to Louth grammar school
He was unhappy. He left in 1820, but, though home conditions were difficult, his father managed to give him a wide literary education.

decease
October 6, 1892, Aldworth, Surrey lived to be 83

Lifelong fear of mental illness
Epilepsy, which was thought of as a shameful disease (father and brother Arthur made their cases worse by drinking)

In 1827 Tennyson followed to two older brothers
to Trinity College, Cambridge, where his tutor was William Whewell

had published Poems by Two Brothers in 1827
won university prizes for poetry (Alfred winning the Chancellor’s Gold Medal in 1828 for ÒTimbuctooÓ) the Tennyson brothers became well known at Cambridge.

In 1829 The Apostles, an undergraduate club, whose members remained Tennyson’s friends all his life, invited him to join.
which met to discuss major philosophical and other issues, (Members:Arthur Henry Hallam, James Spedding, Edward Lushington (who later married Cecilia Tennyson), and Richard Monckton Milnes )— all famous men who merited entries in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Arthur Hallam’s was the most important of his friendships
being another intelligent Victorian young man

Hallam met and later became engaged to Emily Tennyson
the two friends looked forward to a life-long companionship.

Hallam and Tennyson knew each other only four years, but their intense friendship had major influence on the poet.
Hallam’s death from illness in 1833 (he was only 22) shocked Tennyson profoundly, and his grief lead to most of his best poetry, including In Memoriam , “The Passing of Arthur”, “Ulysses,” and “Tithonus.”

George Clayton Tennyson, a cultivated but embittered clergyman who took out his disappointment on his wife Elizabeth and his brood of children
on at least one occasion threatening to kill Alfred’s elder brother Frederick.

Alfred Brothers
One of Tennyson’s brothers was confined to an insane asylum most of his life, another had recurrent bouts of addiction to drugs, a third had to be put into a mental home because of his alcoholism, another was intermittently confined and died relatively young.

At the lonely rectory in Somersby the children were thrown upon their own resources.
All writers on Tennyson emphasize the influence of the Lincolnshire countryside on his poetry: the plain, the sea about his home, “the sand-built ridge of heaped hills that mound the sea,” and “the waste enormous marsh.”

n 1824 the health of Tennyson’s father began to break down,
and he took refuge in drink.

(more than half the volume) are mostly in fashionable styles of the day.
his contributions

In 1831 Tennyson’s father died.
Alfred’s misery was increased by his grandfather’s discovery of his father’s debts. He left Cambridge without taking a degree, and his grandfather made financial arrangements for the family.

Tennyson succeeded Wordsworth
as Poet Laureate in 1850.