My Ancestry Research
Lord Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, father in-law of my 4th cousin
Lord Alfred Tennyson was a well known poet in 19th century England. He was the father of Lionel Tennyson who married my cousin, Eleanor Bertha Mary Locker, daughter of Charlotte Christian Bruce (Lady Locker) and Frederick Locker.
Frederick Locker had a great love of literature and surrounded himself with most of the literary greats of the day, including Lord Tennyson, who was made Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during the reign of Queen Victoria. I can only assume that, through his friendship with Lord Tennyson, Frederick Locker introduced his daughter, Eleanor, to Lord Tennyson's son, Lionel.
To this day, Tennyson's works remain popular and well known. He started his literary career by publishing a series of rhymes co-written by his brother, Charles, entitled "Poems by Two Brothers" which was published in 1827. During his college years at Cambridge, Tennyson met and befriended two other poets who would also gain fame: Arthur Henry Hallam and William Henry Brookfield.
Tennyson published his second book of poetry which included the well known "The Lady of Shalott" in 1833 but it was not a critical success. This discouraged Tennyson who did not publish any more of his works for almost ten years.
In 1842, while living modestly in London, Tennyson published the two volume works "Poems"; the first volume contained his previous works while the second volume contained all new poems. This publication met with immediate success and some, such as "Locksley Hall", Tithonus" and "Ulysses" endure to this day.
In 1850, after the death of William Wordsworth, Tennyson was appointed to the post of Poet Laureate (Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Leigh Hunt we also under consideration). Tennyson held the position of Poet Laureate until his death in 1892, the longest anyone before or since has held this position. Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's husband) was mostly responsible for Tennyson's appointment, but Queen Victoria became an admirer of his works and wrote in her diary that she was "much soothed and pleased" by reading Tennyson's "In Memoriam A.H.H." after the death of Prince Albert. Tennyson and Queen Victoria met twice in his lifetime. Their first meeting was in April, 1862 afterwhich Queen Victoria wrote about him in her diary stating "very peculiar looking, tall, dark, with a fine head, long black flowing hair & a beard, - oddly dressed, but there is no affectation about him". Their second meeting took place nearly 20 years later, after the death of Prince Albert, and the Queen told him what a comfort his poem "In Memoriam A.H.H." had been to her.
One of Tennyson's best known poems, "The Charge of The Light Brigade" was published in 1855. Tennyson's legacy also includes numerous phrases which can still be heard today; "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all"; "Theirs not to reason why/Theirs but to do and die"; "My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure"; "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield": "Knowledge comes but Wisdom linger" and many more. Tennyson remains, to this day, the most frequently quoted writer in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
Tennyson married Emily Sarah Sellwood, whom he knew from childhood, and they had two children: Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron of Tennyson, and Lionel Tennyson who became my cousin's husband, and by doing so bringing this literary great into our family.