Tennyson pp 52-69 | Cite as


  • Christopher Ricks


In sending to Mrs Tennyson an advance copy of her son’s Poems Chiefly Lyrical Hallam had said that he was going abroad for the summer of 1830, adding, ‘I earnestly hope Alfred & Frederic will be able to join me then; I think nothing will do the former especially so much good as travelling awhile.’ Tennyson — who was to spend many hours and many verses in brooding on whether madness and melancholia were hereditary — may have been disconcerted at the way in which the remedy that had twice been proposed for his father was now being proposed for him. Yet the very fact that Dr Tennyson was returning from the continent this summer probably constituted a good reason for setting out from Somersby. The company of Hallam was itself a cordial, and the more so in that Hallam found the company of Tennyson a cordial. Tennyson was never to forget this summer, free from so much that oppressed him and free to enjoy the friendship of Hallam. The landscapes impressed themselves powerfully on him, and were soon to be rendered into creation in ‘CEnone’ and ‘Mariana in the South’ — and long after were to provide the tender elegiac reminiscence of ‘In the Valley of Cauteretz’.


Black Blood Distressing State Paradise Lost Modern Poetry Advance Copy 
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© Christopher Ricks 1989

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  • Christopher Ricks

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