Tennyson (1809-1892) - King Arthur works

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, one of twelve children was born in 1809 in Somersby, Lincolnshire. Tennyson went to Cambridge where he developed his skills in poetry and in 1829 won the Chancellor's Gold Medal for English with his poem 'Timbuctoo'.

The death of his father and discovery of large parental debts, meant the Tennyson left Cambridge without taking a degree in 1830. He married Emily Sellwood, the sister of one of his brother's wives, in 1850. Tennyson was also appointed Poet Laureate in 1850, successor to Wordsworth. In 1884, Tennyson was made a baron. He spent his last years at his homes on the Isle of Wight, where he had moved in 1853, and in Surrey, where he had had a summer house built in 1868.

Though his stature was immense in his own time, 20th entury re-evaluations of Tennyson including contributions by T.S. Eliot - have tended to be critical of his talents..

Tennyson reputation as a writer was established with "The Lady of Shalott", "The Lotus-eaters" "Morte d'Arthur" and "Ulysses" appeared in 1842 in the two-volume Poems.

Tennyson - Idylls of the King based much of on Malory's book. He disects human nature using the Arthur stories as a vehicle. Tennyson wrote twelve poems published at various times over a 46-year period ending in 1888.

They paint a dark view of Camelot which emerges as we watch the decline of the round table and its vision of chivalry. The decay is partly as a result of Guinevere's relationship with Sir Lancelot. This work also looks the mystical quest for the Holy Grail.

The Round Table's Twelve Books are :-

Book1.Gareth and Lynette

Book 2.The Marriage of Geraint

Book 3.Geraint and Enid

Book 4.Balin and Balan

Book 5.Merlin and Vivien

Book 6.Lancelot and Elaine

Book 7.The Holy Grail

Book 8.Pelleas and Ettarre

Book 9.The Last Tournament

Book 10.Guinevere

Book 11.The Passing of Arthur

Book 12.To the Queen

Tennyson died in 1892, a few years after the puplication of this work.

King Arthur in Literature