And Selected Criticism Of His Works
Whether a person likes or dislikes the works of Lord Alfred Tennyson,
most would agree that he was one of the most influential writers of his time period.
Tennyson grew up in a wealthy family never wanting for anything. English author
often regarded as the chief representative of the Victorian age in poetry. Tennyson
succeeded Wordsworth as Poet Laureate in 1850; he was appointed by Queen
Victoria and served 42 years. Tennyson's works were melancholic, and reflected
the moral and intellectual values of his time, which made them especially
vulnerable for later critic.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire. His father,
George Clayton Tennyson, a clergyman and rector, suffered from depression and
was notoriously absentminded. Alfred began to write poetry at an early age in the
style of Lord Byron. After spending four unhappy years in school he was tutored
at home. Tennyson then studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he joined
the literary club 'The Apostles' and met Arthur Hallam, who became his closest
friend. The undergraduate society discussed contemporary social, religious,
scientific, and literary issues. Encouraged by 'The Apostles', Tennyson published
POEMS, CHIEFLY LYRICAL, in 1830, which included the popular 'Mariana'. He
travelled with Hallam on the Continent. By 1830, Hallam had become engaged to
Tennyson's sister Emily. After his father's death in 1831 Tennyson returned to
Somersby without a degree.
His next book, POEMS (1833), received unfavorable reviews, and
Tennyson ceased to publish for nearly ten years. Hallam died suddenly on the same
year in Vienna. It was a heavy blow to Tennyson. He began to write 'Im
Memorian' for his lost friend - the work took seventeen years. A revised volume of
Poems, which included the 'The Lady of Shalott' and 'The Lotus-eaters'. 'Morte
d'Arthur' and 'Ulysses' appeared in 1842 in the two-volume POEMS, and
established his reputation as a writer. In 'Ulysses Tennyson portrayed the Greek
after his travels, longing past days: "How dull it is to pause, to make an end, / To
rust unburnished, not to shine in use!"
After marrying Emily Sellwood, whom he had already met in 1836,...
... middle of paper ...
... heart blend and break, one against the
other, with the pathetic inconsistency.” 7
As for Tennyson’s other great work, “Idylls of the King”, people seemed to
give it a much nicer criticism. Prince Albert felt that the poems, which he
thourghly enjoyed, “rekindle the feeling with which the legends of King Arthur
must have inspired the chivalry of old, whilst the graceful form in which they are
presented blends those feelings with the softer tone of our present age.” 8
Tennyson’s other popular works include: “The Princess”, “Maud” and
“Drama” . These are just a few of his poems Tennyson wrote hundreds in his
It seems that the critics of Tennyson’s work, either loves it or hates it there
is rarely a middle ground. Most critics seems to enjoy “Idylls of the King” and
give it much better reviews than those of “In Memoriam” which people don’t seem
to like as much.
Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-92) was considered England's greatest
poet in the last half of the 19th century. People from every walk of life understood
and loved his work.
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