Virginia Lucas Poetry Scrapbook

Biography of Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred, Lord Tennyson is not only one of the most respected and loved poets of the Victorian era but also throughout all of history.  Born in 1809, Alfred Tennyson lived a rough childhood in Lincolnshire, England, but eventually found his way to Trinity College. There, he joined a literary club that gave him the resources and confidence to write poetry and arguably served as the foundation for Tennyson’s coming success. In 1830 and 1832, Tennyson published his first two volumes of work, Poems, Chiefly Lyrics and Poems, respectively, which received fairly negative reviews that dissuaded Tennyson from continuing his work for nine years. He ran into some financial trouble during this time, but in 1842, Tennyson split Poems into two volumes, the second of which consisted of mostly new poems, and these two volumes received outstanding reviews. Tennyson published a work titled In Memoriam A.H.H. in 1850, and with this work, Tennyson became one of the most popular poets in England. Soon after this publication, Tennyson was named Poet Laureate, a post that he retained for 42 years. As Poet Laureate, Tennyson wrote “appropriate but often uninspired verse” for Queen Victoria, who offered Tennyson baronetcy in 1884. This then made Tennyson’s official title “Baron Tennyson, of Aldworth in the County of Sussex and of Freshwater in the Isle of Wight.” Tennyson served as Poet Laureate until 1892, the year of his death, and he was survived was by two sons, Hallam and Lionel. His first son, Hallam, was named after Arthur Henry Hallam, a friend to Tennyson during his collegiate career. Arthur Henry Hallam had passed away unexpectedly in 1833, which served as inspiration for In Memoriam A.H.H. (A.H.H. signifying Hallam’s initials).
Tennyson used many references to classical mythology and medieval literature in his work, but also moved to more domestic situations in other poems. This range he was able to exhibit benefitted him greatly in his career. Rhythm was an aspect of poetry that Tennyson was able to masterfully craft; he used musical qualities of words to create a rhythm that made their meanings more significant. Furthermore, his use of poetic devices such as onomatopoeia, alliteration, and assonance showed his poetic prowess.
Tennyson, Lord Alfred. "Biography of Lord Alfred Tennyson." Lord Alfred Tennyson. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2016.
"Lord Alfred Tennyson." Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2016.