Aldworth and the Last Twenty-Five Years, 1867–92
Gradually Knowles’s grander and more fancifully Gothic ideas prevailed over the Poet Laureate’s modest intentions, and a decorated stone mansion was planned, with a long first-floor library overlooking the Weald; emblematic devices of Tennyson’s favourite non-classical poets — Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Goethe, and Wordsworth — over the dining-room mantelpiece; arms of the Tennyson d’Eyncourts on the chimney-pieces; and a tiled motto in Welsh, ‘The truth against the world’, on the floor of the entrance hall. When the general design had been agreed, Tennyson decided to join Palgrave and his family at Lyme Regis. On Yarmouth quay he met Allingham, and persuaded him to accompany him; they reached Dorchester by train, visited Maiden Castle, called on the poet William Barnes, walked to Bridport, and the next day to Lyme, where Alfred wished most of all to see the steps on the Cobb where Louisa Musgrove fell. Allingham had to return to work, while Tennyson set off with Palgrave on a walkingtour in south Devon. His metaphysical interests led him to write ‘The Higher Pantheism’ on his return; it was followed by ‘Lucretius’.
KeywordsChannel Island Entrance Hall Funeral Procession Sailing Yacht United States Minister
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