Alfred Tennyson, Charles Darwin, Charles Lyell, and Essay

Alfred Tennyson, Charles Darwin, Charles Lyell, and Essay

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Alfred Tennyson, Charles Darwin, Charles Lyell, and "In Memoriam"


Alfred Lord Tennyson was born August 6, 1809, at Somersby, Lincolnshire. He was the fourth of twelve children. As a boy he led a very miserable and unhappy life. In 1828 Tennyson entered Trinity college, Cambridge. The most important part of his experience there was his friendship with Arthur Henry Hallam, who was the son of a well known historian. Hallam encouraged and inspired Tennyson to write. Hallam died in 1833. Tennyson published poems in 1842 which proved to be a great success and secured his position as the foremost Victorian Poet. The year 1850 was important to Tennyson for two reasons: his marriage to Emily Sellwood and the publication of "In Memoriam" , his great elegy to Arthur Hallam. "In Memoriam’ was merely a verification of some of the books that Tennyson had been reading" (Wiley 160). These books included Lyell and Darwin. Many of the lines in his poem show an interesting compromise between religious attitude and what is quite a different belief, the belief in human perfectibility. "In Memoriam" can be justly called a religious poem. However it is not religious because of its faith, but because of the quality of its doubt. Its Faith is a poor thing, but its doubt is a very intense experience.

The first aspects of science that seem to interest Tennyson were astronomy. However, he seemed to become more interested in geology and Lyell’s work on Geology.

Sir Charles Lyell, is perhaps the most significant figure ever born in Angus, Scotland. On the fourteenth of November 1797 Charles Lyell was born. His father, Charles Lyell, enrolled in 1786 at St. Andrew University where he studied law. When Charles Lyell was less than a year old his fath...


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...upreme being. They believer that the bible was not true because they do not know for a fact if the things in the bible happened or not.

In Canto 120, Tennyson is describing how humans are not machines. In the second stanza he is completely rejecting science, evolution and Geology. This shows a complete turnaround from what he believed before. In the third stanza he is telling us that no matter what people say or do like the theories of Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell, he is going to follow what he believes in.

Charles Darwin was an important part of the Victorian era. His theories are still taught in schools and are part of our evolving lives. If Charles Darwin did not discover the fossils on his early expedition and put all the missing pieces together, then people would still be thinking that one Supreme Being created us all, when in fact we really weren’t.

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