Pre-Raphaelite




Illustrations for Moxon's






Alfred Tennyson








 

Alfred Tennyson


(Encyclopaedia Britannica)


born Aug. 6, 1809, Somersby, Lincolnshire, Eng.
died Oct. 6, 1892, Aldworth, Surrey


byname Alfred, Lord Tennyson English poet often regarded as the chief representativeof the Victorian age in poetry. He was raised to the peerage in 1884.

Early life and work

Tennyson was the fourth of 12 children, born into an old Lincolnshire family, his father a rector. Alfred, with two of his brothers, Frederick and Charles, was sent in 1815 to Louthgrammar school—where he was unhappy. He left in 1820, but, though home conditions were difficult, his father managed to give him a wide literary education. Alfred was precocious, and before his teens he had composed in the styles of Alexander Pope, Sir Walter Scott, and John Milton. To his youth also belongs The Devil and the Lady (a collection of previously unpublished poems published posthumously in 1930), which shows an astonishing understanding of Elizabethan dramatic verse. Lord Byron was a dominant influence on the young Tennyson.

 

At the lonely rectory in Somersby the children were thrown upon their own resources. All writers on Tennyson emphasize the influence of the Lincolnshire countryside on his poetry: the plain, the sea about his home, “the sand-built ridge of heaped hills that mound the sea,” and “the waste enormous marsh.”

In 1824 the health of Tennyson's father began to break down, and he took refuge in drink. Alfred, though depressed by unhappiness at home, continued to write, collaborating with Frederick and Charles in Poems by Two Brothers (1826; dated 1827). His contributions (more than half the volume) are mostly in fashionable styles of the day.

In 1827 Alfred and Charles joined Frederick at Trinity College, Cambridge. There Alfred made friends with Arthur Hallam, the gifted son of the historian Henry Hallam. This was the deepest friendship of Tennyson's life. The friends became members of the Apostles, an exclusive undergraduate club of earnest intellectual interests. Tennyson's reputation as a poet increased at Cambridge. In1829 he won the chancellor's gold medal with a poem called Timbuctoo. In 1830 Poems, Chiefly Lyrical was published; and in the same year Tennyson, Hallam, and other Apostleswent to Spain to help in the unsuccessful revolution against Ferdinand VII. In the meantime, Hallam had become attachedto Tennyson's sister Emily but was forbidden by her father to correspond with her for a year.

In 1831 Tennyson's father died. Alfred's misery was increased by his grandfather's discovery of his father's debts. He left Cambridge without taking a degree, and his grandfather made financial arrangements for the family. In the same year, Hallam published a eulogistic article on Poems, Chiefly Lyrical in The En glishman's Magazine. He went to Somersby in 1832 as the accepted suitor of Emily.

In 1832 Tennyson published another volume of his poems (dated 1833), including “The Lotos-Eaters,” “The Palace of Art,” and “The Lady of Shalott.” Among them was a satirical epigram on the critic Christopher North (pseudonym of the Scottish writer John Wilson), who had attacked Poems, Chiefly Lyrical in Blackwood's Magazine. Tennyson's sally prompted a scathing attack on his new volume in the Quarterly Review. The attacks distressed Tennyson, but he continued to revise his old poems and compose new ones.

In 1833 Hallam's engagement was recognized by his family, but while on a visit to Vienna in September he died suddenly.The shock to Tennyson was severe. It came at a depressing time; three of his brothers, Edward, Charles, and Septimus, were suffering from mental illness, and the bad reception of his own work added to the gloom. Yet it was in this period that he wrote some of his most characteristic work: “The Two Voices” (of which the original title, significantly, was “Thoughts of a Suicide”), “Ulysses,” “St. Simeon Stylites,” and, probably, the first draft of “Morte d'Arthur.” To this period also belong some of the poems that became constituent parts of In Memoriam, celebrating Hallam's death, and lyrics later worked into Maud.

In May 1836 his brother Charles married Louisa Sellwood of Horncastle, and at the wedding Alfred fell in love with her sister Emily. For some years the lovers corresponded, but Emily's father disapproved of Tennyson because of his bohemianism, addiction to port and tobacco, and liberal religious views; and in 1840 he forbade the correspondence. Meanwhile the Tennysons had left Somersby and were living a rather wandering life nearer London. It was in this period that Tennyson made friends with many famous men,including the politician William Ewart Gladstone, the historian Thomas Carlyle, and the poet Walter Savage Landor.


Major literary work

In 1842 Tennyson published Poems, in two volumes, one containing a revised selection from the volumes of 1830 and 1832, the other, new poems. The new poems included “Morte d'Arthur,” “The Two Voices,” “Locksley Hall,” and “The Vision of Sin” and other poems that reveal a strange naïveté,such as “The May Queen,” “Lady Clara Vere de Vere,” and “The Lord of Burleigh.” The new volume was not on the wholewell received. But the grant to him at this time, by the prime minister, Sir Robert Peel, of a pension of £200 helped to alleviate his financial worries. In 1847 he published his first long poem, The Princess, a singular anti-feminist fantasia.

The year 1850 marked a turning point. Tennyson resumed his correspondence with Emily Sellwood, and their engagement was renewed and followed by marriage. Meanwhile, Edward Moxon offered to publish the elegies on Hallam that Tennyson had been composing over the years. They appeared, at first anonymously, as In Memoriam (1850), which had a great success with both reviewers and the public, won him the friendship of Queen Victoria, and helped bring about, in the same year, his appointment as poet laureate.

In Memoriam is a vast poem of 131 sections of varying length, with a prologue and epilogue. Inspired by the grief Tennyson felt at the untimely death of his friend Hallam, the poem touches on many intellectual issues of the Victorian Age as the author searches for the meaning of life and death and tries to come to terms with his sense of loss. Most notably, In Memoriam reflects the struggle to reconcile traditional religious faith and belief in immortality with the emerging theories of evolution and modern geology. The verses show the development over three years of the poet's acceptance and understanding of his friend's death and conclude with an epilogue, a happy marriage song on the occasion of the wedding of Tennyson's sister Cecilia.

After his marriage, which was happy, Tennyson's life became more secure and outwardly uneventful. There were two sons: Hallam and Lionel. The times of wandering and unsettlement ended in 1853, when the Tennysons took a house, Farringford, in the Isle of Wight. Tennyson was to spend most of the rest of his life there and at Aldworth (near Haslemere, Surrey).

Tennyson's position as the national poet was confirmed by his Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington (1852)—though some critics at first thought it disappointing—and the famous poem on the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava, published in 1855 in Maud and Other Poems. Maud itself, a strange and turbulent “monodrama,” provoked a storm of protest; many of the poet's admirers were shocked by the morbidity, hysteria, andbellicosity of the hero. Yet Maud was Tennyson's favourite among his poems.

A project that Tennyson had long considered at last issued in Idylls of the King (1859), a series of 12 connected poems broadly surveying the legend of King Arthur from his falling in love with Guinevere to the ultimate ruin of his kingdom. The poems concentrate on the introduction of evil to Camelot because of the adulterous love of Lancelot and Queen Guinevere, and on the consequent fading of the hope that had at first infused the Round Table fellowship. Idylls of the King had an immediate success, and Tennyson, who loathed publicity, had now acquired a sometimes embarrassing public fame. The Enoch Arden volume of 1864 perhaps represents the peak of his popularity. New ArthurianIdylls were published in The Holy Grail, and Other Poems in 1869 (dated 1870). These were again well received, though some readers were beginning to show discomfort at the “Victorian” moral atmosphere that Tennyson had introduced into his source material from Sir Thomas Malory.

In 1874 Tennyson decided to try his hand at poetic drama. Queen Mary appeared in 1875, and an abridged version was produced at the Lyceum in 1876 with only moderate success.It was followed by Harold (1876; dated 1877), Becket (not published in full until 1884), and the “village tragedy” The Promise of May, which proved a failure at the Globe in November 1882. This play—his only prose work—shows Tennyson's growing despondency and resentment at the religious, moral, and political tendencies of the age. He had already caused some sensation by publishing a poem called “Despair” in The Nineteenth Century (November 1881). A more positive indication of Tennyson's later beliefs appears in “The Ancient Sage,” published in Tiresias and Other Poems (1885). Here the poet records his intimations of a life before and beyond this life.

Tennyson accepted a peerage (after some hesitation) in 1884. In 1886 he published a new volume containing “Locksley Hall Sixty Years After,” consisting mainly of imprecations against modern decadence and liberalism and a retraction of the earlier poem's belief in inevitable human progress.

In 1889 Tennyson wrote the famous short poem “Crossing the Bar,” during the crossing to the Isle of Wight. In the same year he published Demeter and Other Poems, which containsthe charming retrospective “To Mary Boyle,” “The Progress of Spring,” a fine lyric written much earlier and rediscovered, and “Merlin and the Gleam,” an allegorical summing-up of his poetic career. In 1892 his play The Foresters was successfully produced in New York City. Despite ill health, hewas able to correct the proofs of his last volume, The Death of Oenone, Akbar's Dream, and Other Poems (1892).


Assessment

Alfred, Lord Tennyson was the leading poet of the Victorian Age in England and by the mid-19th century had come to occupy a position similar to that of Alexander Pope in the 18th. Tennyson was a consummate poetic artist, consolidating and refining the traditions bequeathed to him by his predecessors in the Romantic movement—especially Wordsworth, Byron, and Keats. His poetry is remarkable for its metrical variety, rich descriptive imagery, and exquisite verbal melodies. But Tennyson was also regarded as the preeminent spokesman for the educated middle-class Englishman, in moral and religious outlook and in political and social consciousness no less than in matters of taste andsentiment. His poetry dealt often with the doubts and difficulties of an age in which established Christian Faith andtraditional assumptions about man's nature and destiny were increasingly called into question by science and modern progress. His poetry dealt with these misgivings, moreover, as the intimate personal problems of a sensitive and troubled individual inclined to melancholy. Yet through his poetic mastery—the spaciousness and nobility of his bestverse, its classical aptness of phrase, its distinctive harmony—he conveyed to sympathetic readers a feeling of implicit reassurance, even serenity. Tennyson may be seenas the first great English poet to be fully aware of the new picture of man's place in the universe revealed by modern science. While the contemplation of this unprecedented human situation sometimes evoked his fears and forebodings, it also gave him a larger imaginative range thanmost of the poets of his time and added a greater depth and resonance to his art.

Tennyson's ascendancy among Victorian poets began to bequestioned even during his lifetime, however, when Robert Browning and Algernon Charles Swinburne were serious rivals. And 20th-century criticism, influenced by the rise of a new school of poetry headed by T.S. Eliot (though Eliot himself was an admirer of Tennyson), has proposed some drastic devaluations of his work. Undoubtedly much in Tennyson that appealed to his contemporaries has ceased to appeal to many readers today. He can be mawkish and banal, pompous and orotund, offering little more than the mellifluous versifying of shallow or confused thoughts. The rediscovery of such earlier poets as John Donne or Gerard Manley Hopkins (a poet of Tennyson's own time who was then unknown to the public), together with the widespread acceptance of Eliot and W.B. Yeats as the leading modern poets, opened the ears of readers to a very different, and perhaps more varied, poetic music. A more balanced estimate of Tennyson has begun to prevail, however, with the recognition of the enduring greatness of “Ulysses,” the unique poignancy of Tennyson's best lyric poems, and, above all, the stature of In Memoriam as the great representative poem of the Victorian Age. It is now also recognized that the realistic and comic aspects of Tennyson's work are more important than they were thought to be during the period of the reaction against him. Finally, the perception of the poet's awed sense of the mystery of life, which lies at the heart of his greatness, as in “Crossing the Bar” or “Flower in the Crannied Wall,” unites his admirers in this century with those in the last. Though less of Tennyson's work may survive than appeared likely during his Victorian heyday, what does remain—and it is by no means small in quantity—seems likely to be imperishable.

William Wallace Robson

 

 

Edward Moxon
 

From Wikipedia

 

Edward Moxon (1801-1851) was a British poet and publisher.

He was born at Wakefield in Yorkshire. In 1826 he published a volume of verse, entitled The Prospect, and other Poems, which was received favourably. In 1830 Moxon was started by Samuel Rogers as a London publisher in New Bond Street. The first volume he produced was Charles Lamb's Album Verses. Moving to Dover Street, Piccadilly, Moxon published an illustrated edition of Rogers's Italy, £10,000 being spent upon the illustrations. Wordsworth entrusted him with the publication of his works from 1835 onwards, and in 1839 he issued the first complete edition of Shelley's poems.
Some passages in Shelley's Queen Mab resulted in a charge of blasphemy being made against Moxon in 1841. The case was tried before Lord Denman. Serjeant Talfourd defended Moxon, but the jury returned a verdict of guilty, and the offensive passages were expunged. Moxon continued to publish. In 1840 be published Robert Browning's Sordello; and in succeeding years works by Richard Monckton Milnes, Tom Hood, Barry Cornwall, Lord Lytton, Browning and Alfred Tennyson appeared. On Moxon's death, his business was continued by JB Payne and Arthur Moxon, who in 1865 published Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon; in 1871 it was taken over by Ward, Lock & Tyler.
In 1857, Edward Moxon  published  illustrated of Alfred Lord Tennyson's poems .


 




Pre-Raphaelite Illustrations for Moxon's Tennyson



 

 



William Holman Hunt


born April 2, 1827, London, Eng.
died Sept. 7, 1910, London

British artist and prominent member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His style is characterized by clear, hard colour, brilliant lighting, and careful delineation of detail.
In 1843 Hunt entered the Royal Academy schools where he met his lifelong friend, the painter John Everett Millais. Publicopinion was at first hostile toward Hunt; but, in 1854 “The Light of the World” (Keble College, Oxford), an allegory of Christ knocking at the door of the human soul, was championed by John Ruskin and brought Hunt his first public success. In 1854 Hunt began a two-year visit to Syria and Palestine, where he completed in 1855 “The Scapegoat,” a painting depicting an outcast animal on the shores of the Dead Sea. Among the most important of his later paintings are “The Triumph of the Innocents” (two versions: 1884, Tate Gallery, London; 1885, Liverpool), “May Morning on Magdalen Tower” (1889; Lady Lever Art Gallery), and “The Miracle of the Sacred Fire” (1898), finished just before his sight began to fail.

 



William Holman Hunt


 


Recollections of the Arabian Nights
 






Recollections of the Arabian Nights


 




The Ballad of Oriana

 






The Ballad of Oriana




 


The Lady of Shalott

 




 


The Beggar Maid

 




 

Godiva
 

 




 

 


Dante Gabriel Rossetti

 

(b London, 12 May 1828; d Birchington on Sea, Kent, 9 April 1882). Painter, designer and poet.

Despite his Italian parentage, Rossetti never visited Italy. An early disposition for drawing and literature led him to illustrate his sister Maria’s copy of the Iliad in 1840. Three years later his first poem, ‘Sir Hugh the Heron’, was privately printed by his maternal grandfather, Gaetano Polidori.
 

 


Dante Gabriel Rossetti


 

 

The Lady of Shalott

 


 





Mariana in the South

 


 





The Palace of Art

 







The Palace of Art

 





 


Sir Galahad

 




 

 


John Everett Millais


born June 8, 1829, Southampton,Hampshire, Eng.
died Aug. 13, 1896, London


English painter and illustrator, and a founding member ofthe artistic movement known as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
In 1838 Millais went to London and at the age of 11 entered the Royal Academy schools. Extremely precocious, he won all the academy prizes. In 1848 Millais joined with two other artists, William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, to form the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The Brotherhood was founded in opposition to contemporary academic painting, which the group believed was the result of the example set by Raphael and which had dominated the schools and academies since his time. At the next year's academy,the novelist Charles Dickens led a violent attack on Millais's “Christ in the House of His Parents” (1850; Tate Gallery, London), which many considered blasphemous because of its lack of idealization and seemingirreverence in the use of the mundane.
Millais's period of greatest artistic achievement came in the 1850s. “The Return of the Dove to the Ark” (1851; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) was admired by both the English essayist and critic John Ruskin and the French author Théophile Gautier; and “The Order of Release” (1853; Tate Gallery), which included a portrait of his future wife Effie Gray (then unhappily married to Ruskin, whose portrait Millais also painted), was praised by Eugène Delacroix in 1855 and earned for its artist his associateship to the Royal Academy in 1853. In 1856 Millais painted one of his greatest public successes, “The Blind Girl” (Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery)—a tour de force of Victorian sentiment and technical facility.
In 1863 Millais became full academician, and by this time his style had broadened and his content altered toward a more deliberately popular, less didactic approach. He executed illustrations for George Dalziel's Parables (1864) and E. Moxon's edition of Tennyson's poems and contributed to Once a Week, Good Words and other periodicals. Millais's later work is undoubtedly of poorer overall quality—a deterioration of which he was fully aware. In 1870 appeared the first of his pure landscapes, “Chill October.” Many of these landscapes are of Perthshire, where Millais shot and fished in the autumn. Many portraits belong to this late period, including those of William Gladstone, of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and of Cardinal Newman. Millais was created a baronet in 1885 and was elected president of the Royal Academy in 1896.
 

 

John Everett Millais


 

Mariana
 




 


The Sisters
 





A Dream of Fair Women
 






A Dream of Fair Women
 





The Lord Burleigh
 





 


The Death of the Old Year

 





St Agnes' Eve

 



 

 
The Miller's Daughter






 
The Miller's Daughter







 
The Sisters





 
A Dream of Fair Women







 
A Dream of Fair Women







 
The Death of the Old Year







 
Dora







 
Dora







 
The Talking Oak







 
The Talking Oak







 
Locksley Hall







 
Locksley Hall







 
St. Agnes' Eve







 
The Day-Dream







 
The Day-Dream







 
Edward Gray







 
The Lord of Burleigh



 
 

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