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  • Published: 1 November 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448138562
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464


To Strive, to Seek, to Find

An enthralling new biography of Lord Alfred Tennyson: the major poet of his age, and the Queen's Laureate from 1850 until his death in 1892.

Lord Alfred Tennyson was the major poet of his age. In 1850, he succeeded William Wordsworth as Queen Victoria's Poet Laurete, and this book begins and ends with Tennyson's direct contacts with the Queen, whom Tennyson had first came to know at audience at an Osborne House on the Isle of Wight in 1862.

John Batchelor's enthralling new biography presents a Tennyson who is stronger, more self-reliant, and more business-like than previous biographies have displayed. Like many successful Victorians he was a provincial determined to make good in the capital while retaining his provincial strengths; in his particular case he never lost his Lincolnshire accent and in his relationships he remained close to his roots.At the same time and through his Laureteship, he determined the literary taste of the mid- to late Victorian period; and then, strategically, and with a secure instinct for the market, he fed that taste. The ascendancy of Tennyson was neither the irresistible triumph of pure genius nor an accident of history; he skilfully crafted his own career and his relationship with his audience.

  • Published: 1 November 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448138562
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

About the author

John Batchelor

John Batchelor has recently retired from the University of Newcastle and is now Emeritus Professor there. Formerly Joseph Cowen Professor of English Literature at Newcastle, he was also a visiting Professor of the University of Lancaster and previously a Fellow of New College Oxford. His books include biographies of Joseph Conrad and John Ruskin, monographs on the work of Virginia Woolf and H.G. Wells, and a study of the Edwardian novel. His most recent book, Lady Trevelyan and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, is a lively biography of Pauline Trevelyan who established a salon of the arts in Wallington, Northumberland.

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Praise for Tennyson

This is a biography for everybody interested in poetry

Antonia Fraser, Mail on Sunday

Batchelor’s book is a useful reminder of what makes Tennyson a brilliant poet: it points the reader back in the direction of the poems

Emma Hogan, New Statesman

John Batchelor has written a biography which is commendably careful, highly readable and wholly sensible. It should stand, in years to come, as the most advisable entry point into this most inscrutable of poets


By far the most serious and just biography of Tennyson in a long time

Wall Street Journal

It's a pleasure when a biographer is as good a reader of poems as of life

New York Times Book Review

Batchelor tells Tennyson’s story with verve, vigour and assurance and transforms our view of him. His book is as much a reading of the Victorian age as of its favourite poet

Steve Barfield, Lady

Batchelor pinpoints the amazing alignment of Tennyson’s verse with the mood of Victorian Britain at large. His scholarly approach results in densely written text but his devotion to his subject and the period drenches the book with intimacy and heartfelt affection

Jeffrey Taylor, Sunday Express

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