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Record 23336

Reading Experience:

From F. T. Palgrave's 'Personal Recollections' of Tennyson: 'On March 31st 1849, through the kindness of Henry Hallam, youngest son to the great historian [...] I was asked to meet Tennyson at the house of Hallam's cousin by marriage, W. H. Brookfield, in Portman Street [...] 'At that time the two green volumes of 1842, with "The Princess" in its first form (1847), had been to me, as to thousands more, Gateways into a new Paradise [...]I have preserved no memory of Tennyson during this evening. But at the close, discovering that our routes homeward began in the same direction [...] we set forth together [...] parting with an [Tennyson's] invitation to visit him in his lodgings [...] 'Two days after [...] I accordingly climbed to the upper floor of the lodgings, one of a few houses fronting the Hampstead Road, just south of Mornington Crescent, and found Tennyson in a somewhat dingy room, sitting close over the fire, with many short black pipes in front, and a stout jar of tobacco by his side [...] Tennyson offered to read me certain poems he had written about [Arthur] Hallam [...] He then brought forth a bundle of beautifully copied verse: the name "In Memoriam" I do not think he used; and read several pieces. One was No. CIII "On that last night...," [...] others from the early series describing the ship sailing "from the Italian shore" (No. IX): and that, I think, where parents or sweetheart await a son's or a lover's return. 'Poetry so rich and concentrated as this, and heard now for the first time from the lips of one who loved and mourned so deeply, I could but partly grasp, and knew not how to praise aright. But Tennyson's sweet-natured kindness, when he could give pleasure [...] I have never found exhaustible: and taking up one of those note-books [...] he went on to read certain songs which he thought he might do well to place between the sections of "The Princess." Thus "Sweet and low," "The splendour falls," "Ask me no more" [...] passed before me; giving the sense of some great and splendid procession slowly unrolling itself, and that to the sound of its own music.'
Century: 1800-1849
Date: 2 Apr 1849
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London
specific address: Hampstead Road
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:

Reader:Alfred Tennyson
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 6 Aug 1809
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Writer
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Francis Turner Palgrave
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Alfred Tennyson
Title: Songs for inclusion in new edition of The Princess
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Manuscript: Unknown
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 23336  
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: 485-86
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Hallam Tennyson, Alfred Lord Tennyson: A Memoir by His Son (London, 1897), 2, p. 485-86,, accessed: 01 July 2022

Additional comments:



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