10 Interesting Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson

One of these following facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson will give you much information about this poet. Alfred Lord Tennyson was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria’s reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as “Break, Break, Break”, “The Charge of the Light Brigade”, “Tears, Idle Tears” and “Crossing the Bar”. Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses. Furthermore, to get to know more about him, here are some other facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson you might like to know.

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson 1: Young Tennyson

Tennyson and two of his elder brothers were writing poetry in their teens, and a collection of poems by all three was published locally when Alfred was only 17.

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson 2: First Publication

At Cambridge, Tennyson met Arthur Henry Hallam, who became his closest friend. His first publication was a collection of “his boyish rhymes and those of his elder brother Charles” entitled “Poems by Two Brothers” published in 1827.

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson – Alfred Lord Tennyson

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson 3: Chancellor’s Gold Medal

In 1829, Tennyson was awarded the Chancellor’s Gold Medal at Cambridge for one of his first pieces, “Timbuctoo”. Reportedly, “it was thought to be no slight honour for a young man of twenty to win the chancellor’s gold medal”.

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson 4: First Solo Collection

He published his first solo collection of poems, “Poems Chiefly Lyrical” in 1830. “Claribel” and “Mariana”, which later took their place among Tennyson’s most celebrated poems, were included in this volume. Although decried by some critics as overly sentimental, his verse soon proved popular and brought Tennyson to the attention of well-known writers of the day.

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson - Family

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson – Family

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson 5: Second Book of Poetry

In 1833 Tennyson published his second book of poetry, which included his well-known poem, “The Lady of Shalott”. The volume met heavy criticism, which so discouraged Tennyson that he did not publish again for ten years, although he did continue to write.

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson 6: Unwise Investment

An unwise investment in an ecclesiastical wood-carving enterprise soon led to the loss of much of the family fortune. Tennyson then moved to London, and lived for a time at Chapel House, Twickenham.

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson - Portrait taken in 1869

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson – Portrait taken in 1869

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson 7: Poet Laureate

After William Wordsworth’s death in 1850, and Samuel Rogers’ refusal, Tennyson was appointed to the position of Poet Laureate; Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Leigh Hunt had also been considered.He held the position until his own death in 1892, by far the longest tenure of any laureate before or since.

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson 8: Subject Matters

In writing Tennyson used a wide range of subject matter, ranging from medieval legends to classical myths and from domestic situations to observations of nature, as source material for his poetry. The influence of John Keats and other Romantic poets published before and during his childhood is evident from the richness of his imagery and descriptive writing.

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson - Statue

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson – Statue

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson 9: Craftsman

Tennyson was a craftsman who polished and revised his manuscripts extensively. Few poets have used such a variety of styles with such an exact understanding of metre; like many Victorian poets, he experimented in adapting the quantitative metres of Greek and Latin poetry to English.

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson 10: Common Thread

A common thread of grief, melancholy, and loss connects much of his poetry, likely reflecting Tennyson’s own lifelong struggle with debilitating depression.T.┬áS. Eliot famously described Tennyson as “the saddest of all English poets”, whose technical mastery of verse and language provided a “surface” to his poetry’s “depths, to the abyss of sorrow”.

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson - Tennyson's residence

Facts about Alfred Lord Tennyson – Tennyson’s residence

Hope you would find those Alfred Lord Tennyson facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.



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