The Letters of Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1851-1870
Cecil Y. Lang, Edgar F. Shannon, Jr.
Harvard University Press, 1987 - Biography & Autobiography - 608 pages
The first volume of The Letters of Alfred Lord Tennyson showed the young manbecoming a poet and recorded the experiences--out of which so much of his poetrywas forged--that culminated in three personal triumphs: marriage, In Memoriam,and the Poet Laureateship. Volume IIreveals the gradual emergence of a new anddifferent Tennyson, moving confidentlyamong the great and famous--the intellectual, political, and artistic elite--yetremaining very much a son of Lincolnshire,whose childlike simplicity of manner strikesall who meet him. As a young man, he wasobliged to be paterfamilias of his father'sfamily; now he has a family of his own,with two sons reaching manhood, twohouses, and two lives, one in London andthe other at home.
Through the letters we learn somethingabout his poetry (including "Maud," andThe Idylls of the King), much abouthis dealings with publishers, and evenmore about his travels--in Scotland,Wales, Cornwall, Norway, Switzerland,Auvergne, Brittany, the Pyrenees--and itis clear that all that he met became part ofhim and of his poetry. By the close of thisvolume he is one of the two or three mostfamous names in the English-speakingliterary world.
The edition includes an abundance of letters to and about Tennyson as well as byhim, and its generous annotation has beencommended by reviewers for its range andwit.