By Leonee Ormond

Throughout his lengthy operating lifestyles, Tennyson used to be experimenting with new varieties and matters. greatly learn in more than a few disciplines, he responsed to some of the personalities, occasions and discoveries of the Victorian age. nonetheless greatly considered as an apologist for the 'establishment', Tennyson used to be continuously an intruder. Scourged by way of reviewers, and haunted through his personal apprehensive disposition, Tennyson persevered years of depression. even if the tide grew to become in 1850 Tennyson remained a stern critic of his contemporaries.

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Sample text

IV, 263-7) 'Rights' suggests a broad sympathy with the plight of the labourers. Tennyson's divided loyalties were readily explicable, for he had been brought up in an agricultural community, and had experienced the distress suffered by the gangs of unemployed itinerant labourers in the wold country. His own father had expressed instinctive sympathy with the oppressed urban poor, declaring in 1819 that the Manchester magistrates responsible for the Peterloo massacre should be indicted for murder.

In later life, however, Tennyson felt some need to defend In Memoriam and the memory of his friend from such an imputation. He vigorously denied that he had ever addressed Hallam with endearments. Whether sexually attracted or not, the two men were bound by a love that was deep, generous and remarkably unpossessive. They were, like their friends, Robert Monteith and Francis Garden, or Jack Kemble and William Donne, an acknowledged 'couple' among the Cambridge group. A vivid recollection of them is given by Tennyson's brother-inlaw, Edmund Lushington, in a note written just before his death in 1893.

Visiting them there, Hallam reported 'Alfred in such precarious health that I cannot altogether repress my fears about him'. 19 By January, Hallam had decided that Tennyson's real ailment was 'extreme nervous irritation ... It is most melancholy that he should have so completely cut himself off from those light mental pleasures, which may seem insignificant in themselves, but in their general operation serve to make a man less unhappy, by making him more sociable, and more disposed therefore to receive satisfaction from the numberless springs of enjoyment which the mechanism of society affords'.

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