English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

(1809 - 1892)

In his early twenties in 1830, Alfred, Lord Tennyson published Poems, Chiefly Lyrical and participated in an unsuccessful coup against Ferdinand VII of Spain. He gained the respect of critics, readers, and Queen Victoria after the publication of In Memoriam in 1850. The Victorian poet died at the age of eighty-three in 1892, with an open copy of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline at his side.

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Some four hundred years after the death of Lucretius, Saint Jerome wrote the only existing biography of the philosopher, in two sentences, suggesting that Lucretius “was rendered insane by a love potion” and killed himself. In 1868 Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote in “Lucretius” that the philosopher’s wife “dreaming some rival, sought and found a witch / Who brewed the philter which had power, they said, / To lead an errant passion home again. / And this, at times, she mingled with his drink, / And this destroyed him.”


Alfred, Lord Tennyson, once said of Lord Byron, “I was fourteen when I heard of his death. It seemed an awful calamity; I remember I rushed out of doors, sat down by myself, shouted aloud, and wrote on the sandstone: BYRON IS DEAD!”

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