By Laurence W. Mazzeno

ISBN-10: 1571132627

ISBN-13: 9781571132628

ISBN-10: 1571136460

ISBN-13: 9781571136466

Alfred Tennyson: The serious Legacy explores the critics' response to the paintings of the nineteenth-century English poet so much heavily linked to the Victorian period. might be greater than the other Victorian poet, Tennyson's recognition has waxed and waned within the century when you consider that his demise. He has been then again sanctified and vilified for his selection of subject material, social outlook, morality, or suggestions of versification. His popularity has weathered even the main vitriolic makes an attempt to discredit either the fellow and his writings; and as feedback of the overdue 20th century demonstrates, Tennyson's declare to pre-eminence one of the Victorians is now unchallenged. Laurence Mazzeno starts off this narrative research of Tennyson feedback with an examine how Tennyson was once looked through his contemporaries, sooner than launching an in depth exam of twentieth-century feedback. A bankruptcy is dedicated to the interval instantly following Tennyson's loss of life, while a iteration of post-Victorians reacted violently opposed to what they thought of his sappy sentimentalism, cloying moralism, and insensitive jingoism. next chapters describe how critics resurrected Tennyson, highlighting either his technical mastery and his social feedback. designated realization is given to significant biographers and critics similar to Harold Nicolson, the poet's grandson Sir Charles Tennyson, Jerome Buckley, R. B. Martin, Michael Thorn, and Peter Levi. a last bankruptcy specializes in the methods Tennyson and his paintings were addressed through poststructuralist critics. in the course of the examine, Mazzeno demonstrates that the critics' response to Tennyson unearths as a lot approximately themselves and the severe prejudices in their personal instances because it does in regards to the Victorian Laureate and his poetry.

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He refuses to attack Maud as many of his contemporaries did, but he believes critics who find the poem one of Tennyson’s best are misguided. Nevertheless, the bias of his age is reflected in his judgment of Idylls of the King: it is “the most characteristic” and “the most permanent of Tennyson’s contributions to English literature” (127). A man of his own times, Waugh concludes that Tennyson is the great seer and prophet of his day, taking his place among the great poets of England by “preserv[ing] to us the spirit of our song” and providing for “the continuity and perfection of the national literature” (249).

For Lang, Tennyson’s rank among poets is secure, somewhere in the pantheon just below Shakespeare, Homer, and Dante; and no one will ever surpass him “for exquisite variety and varied exquisiteness” (225). 42 ♦ A MIXED LEGACY: 1892–1916 Unfortunately, the most distinguished critic of the late nineteenth century, George Saintsbury, may have unintentionally contributed to the diminution of the poet’s stature in three important works published between 1895 and 1910. Two short chapters in Corrected Impressions (1895) record Saintsbury’s lifelong love of Tennyson’s poetry; but Saintsbury insists that Tennyson “does his best in lyric” (35), and that his special faculty as an artist lies in his ability to combine “poetical music” with “poetical picture drawing” (38).

Gosse ends by reminding readers that poetry will survive Tennyson’s death, as it has the deaths of other great writers. Even before Tennyson died, Arthur Waugh was working on a biographical and critical study to provide late Victorian readers insight into the man who had dominated the literary world for nearly half a century. Alfred Lord Tennyson: A Study of his Life and Work (1892) was ready for press when news of the laureate’s death reached Waugh. There is little evidence, other than his brief eulogy in the introduction, that Waugh made any serious changes to his manuscript before publishing it.

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Alfred Tennyson: The Critical Legacy (Literary Criticism in Perspective) by Laurence W. Mazzeno


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