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Record 23109

Reading Experience:

John Tyndall to Hallam Tennyson (1893): 'You were not born when the influence [of Alfred Tennyson] in my case began. Fifty years ago, in the sixth chapter of Carlyle's Past and Present I found the line: "There dwells the great Achilles whom we knew"; 'to which was attached a footnote referring the line to Tennyson [...] This footnote assured me that Tennyson was a poet whose acquaintance must be made without delay. Not very long afterwards, two young men might have been seen eagerly engaged upon a volume, in the corner of a modest hotel in St Martin's Court, Covent Garden. The one read, the other listened. The one, after a life of usefulness and honour, was snatched from us last year by influenza, and now lies in Highgate Cemetery, the other remains to record the fact. The book in which my friend Hirst and I were then absorbed was entitled "Poems by Alfred Tennyson" [...] 'The late excellent James Spedding, first drew my attention to the definition of poetry as "a fine excess," and certainly the effect of your father's inspired language upon the two young men above referred to could not be better expressed. It was wine to our intellects, and may a night between ten and eleven, during the winter of 1850-51, after the scientific labours of the day were over, we quaffed together of this noble vintage.'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Between 1 Nov 1850 and 1 Mar 1851
Country: Germany
Time: night: 10-11pm
Place: county: Hesse-Cassel
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reading Group:Thomas Hirst and John Tyndall
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth n/a
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Students (in sciences) at University of Marburg
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: n/a
Country of experience: Germany
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Alfred Tennyson
Title: Poems
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 23109  
Source - Print  
  Author: Hallam Tennyson
  Editor: n/a
  Title: Alfred Lord Tennyson: A Memoir by His Son
  Place of Publication: London
  Date of Publication: 1897
  Vol: 2
  Page: 470
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Hallam Tennyson, Alfred Lord Tennyson: A Memoir by His Son (London, 1897), 2, p. 470,, accessed: 01 July 2022

Additional comments:



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)