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Alfred Tennyson: The Critical Legacy (Literary Criticism in by Laurence W. Mazzeno

By Laurence W. Mazzeno

Alfred Tennyson: The serious Legacy explores the critics' response to the paintings of the nineteenth-century English poet such a lot heavily linked to the Victorian period. maybe greater than the other Victorian poet, Tennyson's attractiveness has waxed and waned within the century because his loss of life. He has been on the other hand sanctified and vilified for his collection of subject material, social outlook, morality, or suggestions of versification. His attractiveness has weathered even the main vitriolic makes an attempt to discredit either the fellow and his writings; and as feedback of the overdue 20th century demonstrates, Tennyson's declare to pre-eminence one of the Victorians is now unchallenged. Laurence Mazzeno starts this narrative research of Tennyson feedback with an examine how Tennyson was once seemed by way of his contemporaries, ahead of launching a close exam of twentieth-century feedback. A bankruptcy is dedicated to the interval instantly following Tennyson's dying, while a new release of post-Victorians reacted violently opposed to what they thought of his sappy sentimentalism, cloying moralism, and insensitive jingoism. next chapters describe how critics resurrected Tennyson, highlighting either his technical mastery and his social feedback. detailed recognition is given to significant biographers and critics comparable to Harold Nicolson, the poet's grandson Sir Charles Tennyson, Jerome Buckley, R. B. Martin, Michael Thorn, and Peter Levi. a last bankruptcy specializes in the methods Tennyson and his paintings were addressed by means of poststructuralist critics. in the course of the examine, Mazzeno demonstrates that the critics' response to Tennyson finds as a lot approximately themselves and the severe prejudices in their personal occasions because it does concerning the Victorian Laureate and his poetry.

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Extra resources for Alfred Tennyson: The Critical Legacy (Literary Criticism in Perspective)

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Joseph, Gerhard. ” PMLA 88 (1973): 418–28. , ed. Tennyson: The Critical Heritage. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; New York: Barnes & Noble, 1967. Lounsbury, Thomas R. The Life and Times of Tennyson: From 1809 to 1850. London: Oxford UP; New Haven: Yale UP, 1915. 30 ♦ TENNYSON AMONG HIS CONTEMPORARIES: 1827–1892 Martin, Robert Bernard. Tennyson: The Unquiet Heart. London: Faber; Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford UP, 1980. Mattes, Eleanor B. In Memoriam: The Way of a Soul. New York: Exposition, 1951.

In almost reverential tones, Bayne describes the “quality of charm” (204) that characterizes Tennyson’s best work. Comparing him to Keats and Scott, he sees Tennyson as a leader in the “triumphant reaction against the spirit and influence of Byron” (223) — an influence Victorians found deleterious. ” In his meandering and eclectic critique Bayne is interested principally in explaining why the “Poet of the People” (273) appealed to contemporaries. “Take him for all in all,” Bayne concludes, “Tennyson must, I think, be pronounced the greatest poet of his time” (364).

Written by Henry J. Jennings, author of biographies of contemporary figures, Lord Tennyson: A Biographical Sketch, is typical of the genre in Victorian England. Focusing more on reminiscences by Tennyson’s friends — the enlarged edition of 1892, published shortly after Tennyson’s death, is even more generous in offering such personal recollections — Jennings is high on praise and only grudgingly willing to acknowledge criticism. Some of Jennings’s mistakes can be attributed to his lack of information — Tennyson worked hard to keep his private life private.

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