Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred Tennyson was born 6 August 1809, at Somersby, Lincolnshire. His initial education was conducted largely by his clergyman father, Dr. George Clayton Tennyson. The boy showed an early interest and talent in poetic composition, working original poems in a variety of meters. In 1827 Tennyson followed his two older brothers to Trinity College, Cambridge, where his tutor was William Whewell. While there he wrote a spirited blank-verse poem, "Timbuctoo" (1829), for which he received a prize, and published his first book on his own, Poems, Chiefly Lyrical (1830), which includes "Mariana".
In 1831, following the death of his father, Tennyson left Cambridge without taking a degree. The success of his 1842 Poems made Tennyson a popular poet, and in 1845 he received a Civil List (government) pension of £200 a year.
In 1850 he married Emily Sarah Sellwood, whom he had been waiting to marry since 1836. Enormously popular, he was appointed poet laureate of Great Britain the same year, succeeding William Wordsworth in this honour.
By now Tennyson had written some of his greatest poetry, but he continued to write and to gain in popularity. In 1853 Prince Albert paid a visit to the Tennysons. His admiration for Tennyson's poetry helped solidify his position as the national poet, and Tennyson returned the favour by dedicating "The Idylls of the King" to his memory. Queen Victoria later summoned him to court several times, and at her insistence he accepted his title, having declined it when offered by both Disraeli and Gladstone.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson died on 6 October, 1892, at the age of 83.
contributed by Gifford, Katya