22 Alfred Tennyson Facts: An Awarded English Poet!

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Jan 23, 2024 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Jan 12, 2022
Alfred Tennyson facts will tell you more about his relationship with his brother Charles and Charles' wife, Louisa Sellwood.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

Alfred Lord Tennyson is only ranked behind Shakespeare on Oxford’s list of Dictionary of Questions; he had made his mark around the world.

Alfred Tennyson was one of the most renowned English poets of the Victorian Era. His writings were influential at the time and popular among the masses.

Alfred Lord Tennyson is still one of the most popular poets in the anglophone world more than a century after his death. The English poet not only had a keen understanding of how the English language was used, but he also played a significant role in shaping it. His contributions to English literature were immense. Alfred Lord Tennyson holds a leading position among poets and writers of today's time as well. Even as a child, Alfred Lord Tennyson loved to read and write poetry. When he was 12, he wrote an epic poem that had about 6,000 lines. Around the 1850s, he had taken up the position of Poet Laureate of England.

Continue reading for some incredible Alfred Tennyson facts! Afterward, also check John Peter Zenger facts and Alfred Noyes facts.

The Early Life Of Alfred Tennyson

Alfred Lord Tennyson and his two brothers began writing poetry at a very early age; his upbringing was quite different too.

Alfred Lord Tennyson was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire, on August 6, 1809. Alfred Lord Tennyson was the fourth of 12 children in his family. The Tennyson family lived in relative poverty despite having affluent relations. Tennyson’s family had a lengthy history of mental illness. Several of Tennyson's brothers suffered from epilepsy, which was dreaded in Victorian times since it was difficult to treat. Tennyson's father, too, became increasingly emotionally disturbed and physically frail.

Alfred Lord Tennyson's father was driven into the ministry against his desire due to financial need. His mother Elizabeth Fytche had supported Tennyson’s dream of pursuing poetry. Tennyson spent most of his life worrying about money as writing poetry was hardly the most financially lucrative profession in the Victorian age of England.

Education And First Book

Alfred Lord Tennyson joined his two elder brothers at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1827. Joining Trinity College gave him the chance to pursue his academic and poetic life.

'Poems by Two Brothers' was Alfred's debut publication. It was a compilation of youthful rhymes and poetry. Half of these poems were most likely written by Tennyson. He received the Chancellor's Gold Medal in 1828. As a result, his visibility and renown as a poet grew. Alfred Lord Tennyson was finally seeing some success in his early days of poetry.

Alfred Lord Tennyson's friends encouraged him to join the club known as 'The Apostles' in 1829 at his time in Trinity, which he gladly accepted to be a part of. The Cambridge Apostles were a secret society of undergraduates who debated on a wide range of topics, including philosophical difficulties and issues. In 1830, he had published 'Poems Chiefly Lyrical'. During his time there, Alfred Lord Tennyson met Arthur Henry Hallam, a fellow poet who would become his closest friend. Arthur Hallam was a well-known English poet who had a significant influence on Tennyson's life. Arthur Hallam and Alfred Lord Tennyson had known each other for four years and had formed a strong relationship.

Arthur Hallam was committed to Emily Tennyson, Tennyson's sister, and would have married Emily Tennyson if he had not died in 1833. Tennyson was severely touched by his death, and the tragedy would have a lasting impact on his poems. Later, he named his son Hallam Tennyson in order to honor his closest friend. His works such as 'The Tears Of Heaven' followed ideas of death, love, and sadness. It has an 'abacbcbdd' rhyme scheme.

Alfred Tennyson wrote poems that were chiefly lyrical in nature.

The Career Journey Of Alfred Tennyson

Alfred Lord Tennyson had quite an amazing career as he had published some of the most celebrated poems and stories of the Victorian age.

A constant topic throughout Tennyson's poems, published in 1832, is the tension between a selfish appreciation of beauty and the need to serve society. 'The Lady of Shalott', a solo collection story in Arthurian England in which retiring estheticism is destroyed by a terrifying 'real' world, and 'The Palace of Art', an allegory that eventually acknowledges the poet's teaching duty, are among the works included in the collection. 'The Lady Of Shalott' was a hit. He is identified for the dramatic elements in his works.

However, Alfred Tennyson was upset by some of the book's criticisms, and he was thrown down by Hallam's death; he did not write or publish anything for the following ten years. He fell in love with Emily Sellwood in 1836, whom he met during her sister's wedding to his brother Charles. He put the money he had inherited in a woodworking machinery project in 1840, and by 1843, Tennyson lost whatever tiny inheritance he had.

The publication of 'Poems' with two volumes (1842) brought Tennyson great fortune and changed his life. 'Locksley Hall' was a famous poem from this collection. The collection is considered one of the best medieval legends. One of the many other poems that would eventually make up the 'Idylls of the King' was initially published here. 'Ulysses', a dramatic monologue in which the elderly monarch begs his friends to embark on a final heroic voyage, and 'The Two Voices', an inward struggle between the death desire and the resolve to live, are two other poems in this book.

'Poems' with two volumes was favorably received, and Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, who was particularly taken by 'Ulysses', gave Tennyson a pension of £200 per year and he started getting more recognition for his poetry work. During his time as England’s poet laureate, Alfred Tennyson had published 'Enoch Arden'. The Poet Laureate had also published 'The Charge Of the Light Brigade'. 'The Charge Of the Light Brigade' follows the story of the heroism of British soldiers at the Battle of Balaclava which Tennyson wrote after reading about it in the newspaper in the year 1854. Its publication was well received.

Death And Legacy Of Alfred Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson was the leading poet of his age and after his death, he left a legacy that cannot be measured by poets of his time.

Alfred Tennyson received and was crowned with many honors during his last years of life. The poem 'In Memoriam A. H. H.' was a source of solace to the widowed Queen Victoria, and it was ranked second only to the Bible by Queen Victoria in her sorrow. Alfred Tennyson was given a peerage in 1883.

Alfred Tennyson died on October 6, 1892, in Haslemere, England. After a large funeral, he was buried at Westminster Abbey. The choir performed a musical setting of Tennyson's poem 'Crossing the Bar' which always made its appearance at the end of all of his collected works.

Alfred Tennyson was a great poet, consolidating and perfecting the traditions passed down to him by his romantic poetry predecessors, particularly William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, and John Keats. Alfred Tennyson's poetry and other works are famous for their metrical diversity, detailed imagery, and beautiful verbal melodies. At the same time, Alfred Tennyson was recognized as the foremost voice for the educated middle-class Englishman, both in terms of moral and theological viewpoint, political and social consciousness, and taste and feel.

Alfred Tennyson's poetry frequently dealt with the concerns and problems of an era when science and contemporary development were rapidly calling into question established Christian faith and old assumptions about man's nature and destiny, and he truly spoke for the people of that time through his works.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Alfred Tennyson facts, then why not take a look at Alfred Sisley facts, or Alfred Stieglitz facts?

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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