Alfred Tennyson Biography Essay

1038 words - 5 pages

Alfred Tennyson was born on August 6th, 1809, at Somersby, Lincolnshire, fourth of twelve children of George and Elizabeth Tennyson. Tennyson, said to be the best poet of the Victorian era and his poetry will be discussed in this essay.Tennyson had a lifelong fear of mental illness, because several men in his family had a mild form of epilepsy, which then was thought of as a shameful disease. His father and brother Arthur made their epilepsy worse by excessive drinking. His brother Edward had to be put in a mental institution after 1833, and he spent a few weeks himself under doctor's care in 1843. In the late twenties his father's physical and mental condition got worse, and he bec ...view middle of the document...

John Wilson Croker's harsh criticisms of some of the poems he wrote kept Tennyson from publishing again for another nine years.The success of his 1842 poems made Tennyson a popular poet, and in 1845 he got a government pension of 200 pounds a year, which helped him with his financial difficulties. The success of 'The Princess' and 'In Memoriam' and his appointment as Poet Laureate in 1850 finally established him as the most popular poet of the Victorian era.By now Tennyson, only 41, had written some of his greatest poetry, but he continued to write and to gain popularity. Prince Albert admired his poetry so much that he would drop by unexpectedly to here some of Tennyson's poetry. This helped solidify his position as the national poet, and Tennyson returned the favour by dedicating 'The Idylls of the King' to his memory.Tennyson suffered from extreme short-sightedness so without a monocle he could not even see to eat. This made for difficult reading and writing, and this is why he composed a lot of his poetry in his head. Sometimes he would work on a single poem for many years.Every aspect of the Victorian era were found in his poetry. His poetry covered a large range of subjects such as moral and religious problems in his time. His poems also discuss the events of his day - 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'The Death of the Duke of Wellington' are two poems of this type that show the emotion of the nation.Tennyson's work is appreciated perhaps for the sheer beauty of his writing, his descriptions of the natural world and of the landscape-most often the Lincolnshire countryside which he grew up in:Calm and deep peace on this high wold,And on these dews that drench the furze,And all the silvery gossamersThat twinkle into green ...

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