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Alfred Lord Tennyson. 1909-1892. Background. Born August 6, 1809. at Somersby Several men in his family had mental and physical problems: epilepsy, insanity, excessive drinking Tennyson’s father was abusive and violent. Cambridge. Tennyson attended Trinity College, Cambridge

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Alfred Lord Tennyson


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background
Background
  • Born August 6, 1809. at Somersby
  • Several men in his family had mental and physical problems: epilepsy, insanity, excessive drinking
  • Tennyson’s father was abusive and violent
cambridge
Cambridge
  • Tennyson attended Trinity College, Cambridge
  • Invited to join The Apostles, an undergraduate club.
  • This group included his lifelong friends.
  • Most important friendship was with Arthur Hallam. He and Tennyson knew each other for only four years, but their intense friendship had a major influence on the poet.
  • Hallam’s death in 1833 when he was only 22 lead to his best poetry, including In Memoriam.
1830 and 1832 poems
1830 and 1832 Poems
  • In 1830, Tennyson published Poems, Chiefly Lyrical
  • Poems (1832 and 1833) were attacked by critics as obscure and affected.
  • Criticism kept Tennyson from publishing again for another nine years.
1842 poems
1842 Poems
  • Established Tennyson’s career as a writer
  • This volume includes “The Lady of Shalott,” “The Lotus Eaters,” and “Ulysses.”
in memoriam
In Memoriam
  • Tennyson’s greatest poem
  • Published in 1850
  • Represents his struggle with Hallam’s death and with the new developments in astronomy, biology, and geology that were diminishing man’s stature in the universe.
  • After publication of this poem, Tennyson was named Poet Laureate.
tennyson s later poetry
Tennyson’s Later Poetry
  • Tennyson’s later poetry follows a narrative style
  • Several poems dealt with national affairs
  • By this time, Tennyson was established as the most popular poet of the Victorian period. The money from his poetry allowed him to purchase a house in the country and write in seclusion.
  • His appearance enhanced his notoriety.
idylls of the king
Idylls of the King
  • Large-scale epic poem that occupied the second half of his career.
  • Uses the Arthurian legend to construct a vision of the rise and fall of civilization.
  • Tennyson’s most extensive social vision.
themes in tennyson s poetry
Themes in Tennyson’s Poetry
  • The divided self
  • Links external scenery to interior states of mind.
  • The historical past
  • The mythological past
  • Tennyson’s personal past
  • Geological time and evolutionary history
  • Social and political concerns
tennyson s reputation
Tennyson’s Reputation
  • Tennyson was the most popular poet in England in his own day
  • He was the target of mockery by his immediate successors, the Edwardians and Georgians.
  • Today, many critics consider Tennyson to be the greatest poet of the Victorian Age.