Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Marion Shaw (University of Loughborough)
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Alfred, Lord Tennyson was born plain Alfred Tennyson in 1809, the fourth son (a first son died shortly after birth) of the Reverend George Clayton Tennyson, rector of Somersby, in Lincolnshire, and his gentle, easy-going wife Elizabeth (née Fytche). His early childhood was a mixture of informality amongst numerous siblings, a rigorous classical education conducted by his father, and an increasing fear of his father’s drunken violence and paranoid resentment at family injustices. Tennyson’s two older brothers, Frederick and Charles, also became poets, Charles as a particularly successful sonneteer. Some members of the family suffered from mental illness and fear of inherited madness, what Tennyson called “the black blood of the Tennysons”, would be with him for much of his life…

3553 words

Citation: Shaw, Marion. "Alfred, Lord Tennyson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001; last revised 09 April 2018. [, accessed 22 April 2024.]

4349 Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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