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Alfred, Lord Tennyson was born in 1809 at Somersby, Lincolnshire. Schooled at Louth and by his father, a rector, he began to write early, and at the age of twelve he composed “an epic of 6,000 lines.” In 1828 he matriculated at Cambridge—but only after the elder Tennyson had approved his recitation by heart of the odes of Horace. Poems, Chiefly Lyrical, published in 1830, revealed Tennyson’s swiftly maturing talent, a talent which was augmented by his friendship with Edward FitzGerald and A.H. Hallam. In 1830, the poet and Hallam volunteered in the army of a Spanish insurgent; and Poems (1833) derived largely from experience gained on the Continent. Hallam’s death in the same year gave rise to The Two Voices (1834)—a black period in Tennyson’s life. After a lengthy silence he published Poems (1842), earning the admiration of Carlyle and Dickens. The year 1850 witnessed his marriage to Emily Sarah Sellwood and his appointment as poet laureate, succeeding Wordsworth. The gravity with which he took his office was reflected in many poems on state occasions. His later years produced his acknowledged masterpieces: In Memoriam (1850), Maud (1855), Ballads and Other Poems (1880), Locksley Hall Sixty Years After (1886), and scattered sections of what would eventually become his epic, Idylls of the King (1859-1885). In 1892, reading his favorite Shakespeare, Tennyson died at Aldworth and received a public funeral in Westminster Abbey. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"Idylls of the King" provides an outline of the story of Malory's "La Morte Darthur" in a brief, verse style that may actually make the book a good primer on... Read morePublished on April 16 2003 by SJM
How do I express just how beautiful Tennyson's poetry is in this epic classic, and yet criticize it for its misogyny?
The poetry speaks for itself. Read more
Tennyson's poetic version of Arthurian legend is inspiring and beautifully cadenced. If you are unfamiliar with the foundational tales of the Round Table this may not be the... Read morePublished on May 22 2001 by J. Leitch
Idylls of the king is a harder read but the expirience is well worth it. Tennyson's language creates a vivid image in the mind of the reader. Read morePublished on April 30 2001 by Ryan Naieeslair
If Malory's "Le Morte D'Arthur" is the backbone of Arthurian literature, Tennyson's "Idylls" are its flesh and blood. Read morePublished on April 20 2001 by Ilana Teitelbaum
Tennyson had a life-long interest in the Arthurian legend, and based many of his works on it. Idylls of the King is his longest and most ambitious work, and it is truly brilliant. Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2001
this is the one book I would bring with me. Tennyson's poetry is simple enough to be understood, but challenging enough to stretch your mind. Read morePublished on Feb. 8 2001