Happy Birthday Alfred Lord Tennyson! Victorian Poet Laureate
6th August 2017
The topic of Victorian poetry and its most famous exponent, Alfred Lord Tennyson, is not perhaps the subject on everyone’s lips on a sunny day in August. But it is a topic of great fascination for all that, and a rewarding one for study.
Tennyson was the celebrity and star of his age. But often a reluctant one. It was a perpetual source of vexation to him that ‘fans’ would insist on camping out in the area of his home hoping to catch a glimpse of him on his long walks through the countryside or by the sea. If we wish to understand the Victorians, therefore, and what made them tick, we really need to know a little about their most celebrated voice.
So perhaps on this his 208th birthday, it’s time to find a shady nook beneath a tree and read a few lines or glance at one or two of the many amazing paintings and illustrations that his work has inspired. Where to start? Here are some leads for investigation …