Chronology of Tennyson's Life

  • 1809 Alfred Tennyson [AT] born 6 August at Somersby, Lincolnshire.
  • 1828-31 Trinity College, Cambridge; member of the Apostles debating society; meets Arthur Hallam; wins the Chancellor's medal for English verse for 'Timbuctoo'
  • 1827 Poems by Two Brothers with Frederick and Charles Tennyson.
  • 1830 Poems, Chiefly Lyrical. first publication by Edward Moxon.
  • 1842 Poems establish AT's reputation as poet of the age.
  • 1847 The Princess, addresses women's education.
  • 1850 Success of In Memoriam published in May enables AT to marry Emily Sellwood, 13 June; appointed Poet Laureate in November.
  • 1852 Writes 'Ode on the death of Wellington'; Hallam (LT) is born in Sussex, 11 May.
  • 1853 Rents Farringford at Freshwater.
  • 1854 Writes 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'; Lionel (LT) is born at Farringford on 16 March; Sir John Simeon, John Everett Millais, Coventry Patmore visit.
  • 1855 Lear sings; Farringford redecorated 5-19 February and refurnished April-July; Oxford DCL 18 June; Maud is published in July. Simeon and Cotton families hear Edward Lear perform Mariana, 'The Lotos Eaters', 'Tears Idle Tears'.
  • 1856 Woolner begins bust of AT (completed 1857); Tennysons buy Farringford in April. Prince Albert, Richard Doyle, Tom and Laura Taylor, Edward Moxon visit.
  • 1857 Begins to translate Aeschylus 'Prometheus Bound' and write first Idylls. Moxon Tennyson.
  • 1858 Extra stanzas of 'God Save the Queen' for Princess Royal's wedding, 25 January. AT Sits for first portrait by Watts; F D Maurice and Sir Alexander Grant visit.
  • 1859 Second Watts portrait. Idylls of the King published July; Charles Dodgson, Lear, Julia Margaret Cameron, US statesman Charles Sumner, Charles Kingsley, Professor Benjamin Jowett visit.
  • 1860 Helps Palgrave select poems for The Golden Treasury; Prince Consort requests autograph for Idylls; the Camerons move to Freshwater; Duke and Duchess of Argyll, Lord Dufferin, Henry Taylor, Lear, Lady Charlotte Schreiber visit.
  • 1861 'Ode on the Exhibition';Prince Albert dies.
  • 1862. 'Dedication' published with Idylls. 'Ode on the Exhibition' soothes the queen;. 'Passing of Arthur' for Princess; interview at Osborne 14 April. Dodgson; Watts paints Emily 21-29 November, begins two more portraits of AT.
  • 1863. 'Welcome' to Alexandra on marriage to Prince of Wales; Rejlander photographs, May; Duke of Argyll visits; star-gazing with William Allingham; translates Homer.
  • 1864 Enoch Arden is published; Mayall photographs AT, HT and LT, 14 April and AT in September; Palgrave dedicates Golden Treasury to AT; Watts, Ellen Terry, Thoby and Sara Prinsep, Jowett, Garibaldi, Henry Taylor, Mrs. Cameron, Allingham, Professor Blackie. Martin Farquhar Tupper visit.
  • 1865 Watts paints HTand LT. AT tours Waterloo, Weimar, Dresden; is elected FRS; Grants, Anne Thackeray, Professor Owen, Queen Emma of the Sandwich Islands visit.
  • 1868 Lays Aldworth foundation stone 23 April; Longfellow, Fraser Tytlers, Prince Alamayu and Captain Speedy visit in July; unpublished Epigram 'By a Darwinian'.
  • 1869 Holy Grail;Fellow of Trinity; Co-founder, Metaphysical Society; W E H Lecky visits.
  • 1870 Sir John Simeon dies 23 May.
  • 1871 Lord and Lady Elcho visit; Jenny Lind sings.
  • 1872 Tours France and Switzerland; Gareth and Lynette published.
  • 1873 Rejects baronetcy offered by Gladstone.
  • 1874 Visits Paris; completes Idylls; refuses baronetcy offered by Disraeli.
  • 1875 Writes play Queen Mary, atrilogy 'Harold' 'Becket' 'Queen Mary'; tours Pyrenees; W G Ward hears reading at Farringford.
  • 1876 Harold. Bateman produces Queen Mary at Lyceum, with Irving.
  • 1878 Lionel marries Eleanor Locker.
  • 1879 Boston publisher James T Fields visits in spring; AT finishes The Falcon.
  • 1880 Ballads and Poems; finishes The Cup.
  • 1881 Irving and Ellen Terry star in The Cup at the Lyceum; Millais portrait; 'Despair' published
  • 1882 The Promise of May at the Globe theatre.
  • 1883 Phillips Brooks visits; AT tours Scotland, Denmark, Sweden in September; Gladstone offers barony.
  • 1884 The Falcon; The Cup; produces Becket; takes Westminster seat 11 March; votes for extension of the franchise; HT marries Audrey Boyle, 25 June; AT's complete works, new edition.
  • 1885 Poem on marriage of Princess Beatrice, Times 23 July; 'Vastness'; Tiresias and other Poems
  • 1886 LT dies at sea 20 April; Locksley Hall, Sixty Years After and The Promise of May .
  • 1887 Summer cruise St David's, Clovelly, Tintagil, Channel Isles.
  • 1889 Cruise on Lord Brassey's yacht; Merlin and the Gleam', Demeter and other Poems;'Crossing the Bar'; Professor Charles Hubert Parry visits.
  • 1890 Watercolour sketches encouraged by Watts, who paints two portraits of the poet in May; AT carves brick decoration, moulds of ivy leaf wreathes for Farringford cottage; records 'The Bugle Song' from The Princess, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Charge of the Heavy Brigade, Ask me no more, Northern Farmer, New Style, Maud, Boadicea and the Wellington Ode on 15 May.
  • 1891 Robin Hood
  • 1892 Lines on the Death of the Duke of Clarence; AT dies at Aldworth, 6 October, buried at Westminster Abbey; Death of Oenone, Akbar's Dream, and Other Poems
  • 1893 Irving and Terry perform Becket at Lyceum.
  • 1896 Emily, Lady Tennyson dies, 10 August.
  • 1897 A Memoir published by his son Hallam.
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