Selected products from Alfred Lord Tennyson


Alfred Lord Tennyson is regarded by many as the supreme Victorian Poet.  For succeeding generations there are the childhood memories of classic remembered fragments such as ‘Break, Break, Break’, and ‘Half A League, Half A League’. 

Born on August 6th 1809 Somersby, Lincolnshire, he was the fourth of twelve children. 

Tennyson was a student at Louth Grammar School, then attended Scaitcliffe School, Englefield Green and King Edward VI Grammar School, Louth.  He entered Trinity College, Cambridge in 1827 and published his first poetry book that year; Poems by Two Brothers. 

In 1829, he was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Medal at Cambridge for one of his first pieces, "Timbuctoo". The following year he published his collection, Poems Chiefly Lyrical. 

In the spring of 1831, Tennyson's father died, requiring him to leave Cambridge before taking his degree. He returned to the rectory and shared responsibility for his widowed mother and siblings. 

In 1833, Tennyson published a book of poetry, which included his well-known poem, The Lady of Shalott. This volume met with such heavy criticism that Tennyson did not publish again for 10 years, although he continued to write. 

In 1842, while living in London, Tennyson published two volumes of Poems. The first was a re-issue, the second was made up of new poems. They met with immediate success. Poems from this collection, such as Locksley Hall, Tithonus, and Ulysses have met lasting respect. 

The Princess: A Medley, a satire on women's education, came out in 1847. W. S. Gilbert later adapted and parodied the piece twice: in The Princess (1870) and in Princess Ida (1884).  Here, in this volume, we bring you the beautiful poem ‘The Princess’. 

It was in 1850 that Tennyson reached the pinnacle of his career, finally publishing his masterpiece, In Memoriam A.H.H., dedicated to his great friend Hallam. Later the same year he was appointed Poet Laureate, succeeding William Wordsworth. That same year on 13 June, Tennyson married Emily Sellwood, whom he had known since childhood, in the village of Shiplake. They had two sons, Hallam and Lionel. 

After Wordsworth's death in 1850, and Samuel Rogers' refusal, Tennyson was appointed to the position of Poet Laureate, which he held until his own death in 1892, by far the longest tenure of any laureate before or since. 

Tennyson continued writing into his eighties. He died on 6 October 1892 at Aldworth, aged 83. He was buried at Westminster Abbey.