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  1. 1. Alfred Lord Tennyson 1809 - 1892
  2. 2. Tennyson - Timeline <ul><li>1809 -- Born at Somersby rectory, Lincolnshire, fourth son of the rector. 1827 -- Poems by Two Brothers with Charles and Edward. -- Enters Trinity College, Cambridge. 1829 -- Friendship with Arthur Henry Hallam. -- Member of the &quot;Apostles,&quot; a group of young men, at Cambridge. -- Receives chancellor's Gold Medal for prize poem &quot;Timbuctoo&quot;. 1830 -- Poems Chiefly Lyrical published. 1831 -- Father dies. -- Hallam reviews of Poems Chiefly Lyrical . 1832 -- Poems published. -- His brother Edward goes insane. 1833 -- Hallam dies. 1838 -- Engaged to Emily Sellwood. 1840 -- Engagement broken off. -- Family moves to Tunbridge Wells. 1842 -- Poems revised; his fame established. 1843 -- Entire fortune, 3500 pounds, lost on a project to make wood carvings by steam, and his brothers and sisters lose an additional 8,000 pounds. 1844 -- Has an emotional breakdown. 1845 -- Receives Civil List pension of 200 pounds/year. 1847 -- &quot;The Princess&quot; published. 1849 -- Renews correspondence with Emily Sellwood. </li></ul><ul><li>1850 -- In Memoriam published anonymously. -- Marries Emily Sellwood. -- Appointed Poet Laureate. 1852 -- Son Hallam born. 1853 -- Moves to Farringford, Isle of Wight. 1854 -- Son Lionel born. 1855 -- Maud ; a Monodrama published. 1859 -- Idylls of the King published. 1862 -- New edition of Idylls dedicated to the memory of Prince Albert. -- Has first audience with Queen Victoria. 1869 -- The Holy Grail and Other Poems published. 1872 -- Verse novelettes Gareth and Lynette published. 1875 -- Queen Mary , a play, published. 1880 -- Ballads and Other Poems published. 1881 -- The Cup produced, starring Henry Irving and Ellen Terry. 1883 -- Accepts barony. 1885 -- Tiresias and Other Poems published. 1886 -- Locksley Hall Sixty Years After published. -- Son Lionel dies. 1892 -- Dies. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Brief Biography <ul><li>Alfred Tennyson was born August 6th, 1809, at Somersby, Lincolnshire: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parents: George and Elizabeth (Fytche) Tennyson. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>fourth of twelve children </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Grandfather made his younger uncle heir and skipped over Tennyson’s father </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wanted George to enter ministry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not impoverished, but the sight of his uncle living in a castle made Alfred worry about money all his life </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lifelong fear of mental illness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>several men in his family had a mild form of epilepsy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>thought a shameful disease. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>His father and brother Arthur made their cases worse by excessive drinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Father became paranoid and abusive and violent in the late 1820s </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>brother Edward had to be confined in a mental institution after 1833 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1827 Tennyson he followed his two older brothers to Trinity College, Cambridge </li></ul><ul><li>1829 - The Apostles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>an undergraduate club </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>remainedTennyson's friends all his life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>met to discuss major philosophical and other issues </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Bio - Hallam <ul><li>Arthur Hallam </li></ul><ul><ul><li>most important of these friendships. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>knew each other only four years </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>intense friendship had major influence on the poet </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hallam met and later became engaged to Emily Tennyson </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the two friends looked forward to a life-long companionship </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1833 Hallam's death from illness at 22 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>shocked Tennyson profoundly </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>grief lead to most of his best poetry: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In Memorium </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Passing of Arthur” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ulysses” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Tithonus </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Bio - Conclusion <ul><li>Late 1830s: Mental Health worries: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>visited a sanitarium </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1844 as an emotional breakdown. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1842 Poems a success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Made him popular </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1845 Gained a Civil List (government) pension of £200 a year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1850: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Married Emily Sellwood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>made Poet Laureate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Declined it several times until the Queen herself begged him to accept </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Made his the most popular poet of the Victorian era. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Even Prince Albert (a big fan) would sometimes drop by unannounced </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Long-lived like most of his family (no matter how unhealthy they seemed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tennyson died on October 6, 1892, at the age of 83. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Themes <ul><li>Having faith and Keeping faith </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faith and loyalty are essential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keeping them is hard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>tenuous </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Subjective </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>irrational </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>men and their societies must be founded on many faiths: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>between ruler and ruled </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>man and woman to each other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>worshipper and God </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In and to one’s self </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Themes <ul><li>Tennyson is sceptical about man's capacity to have and keep faith: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the destruction of an ideal when men do not keep faith: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;The Passing of Arthur,“ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>makes it quite clear how the Round Table failed </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>offers some cause for hope: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>presents the trials, triumphs, and conversion of the ordinary man: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sir Bedivere. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Themes <ul><li>The problem of Science: </li></ul><ul><li>In this matter, Tennyson is a typical Victorian: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>deep interest in contemporary science vs. an unorthodox, often contradictory, Christian belief. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tennysonian ideas of evolution: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ie: passage from “Idylls…”: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfills Himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world, </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Themes <ul><li>A nearly self-conscious sense of public responsibility: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example : “Charge of the Light Brigade” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;an eagerness [on the part of British public opinion] to find heroes in a wasteful war. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a victory for courage rather than a defeat through stupidity and blunder </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tennyson’s account: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;was written after reading the first report of the Times correspondent . . . my poem is dactylic, and founded on the phrase, 'Some one had blundered.' &quot; (Poems, II, 369). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tennyson made it quite clear that the charge was the result of someone's foolish mistake, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Public nonetheless took it as a great piece of poetic glorification </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Did You Know? <ul><li>Tennyson was extremely near-sighted </li></ul><ul><li>He had trouble even seeing to eat without the aid of a monocle </li></ul><ul><li>Would compose most of his work in his head </li></ul><ul><li>Would only write them down at the urging of others </li></ul>