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Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 – 92)

Alfred Tennyson (1809-92)©

Tennyson was born in Lincolnshire, the son of a clergyman. While at Cambridge he met Arthur Henry Hallam who would become his best friend. Hallam’s death in 1833 devastated Tennyson, but provided inspiration for some of his finest poetry, including In Memoriam, published in 1850. Prince Albert admired the work so much that Tennyson was offered the post of Poet Laureate.

Tennyson’s poetry was influenced by the Romantic poets, and by his love for classical myths and medieval legends, particularly the Arthurian romances. Tennyson’s death in October 1892 produced a three year hiatus in the Laureateship; such had been his hold on the public imagination that the abolition of the role was considered, and a successor only appointed in January 1896.

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