Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Biography


Alfred Lord Tennyson was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire, England on 6th August, 1809. His mother was the daughter of a vicar, called Elizabeth Nee Fytche while his father, George Clayton Tennyson, was a country clergyman, a rector at Somersby, Benniworth and Bag Enderby. Lord Tennyson is a brother to about 12 total siblings.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s elder brothers, Charles Tennyson Turner and Frederick Tennyson were all poets too. Alfred’s father had a large library occupied with books which he used to educate his children. George Clayton Tennyson was addicted to alcohol and drugs. Sometimes, he physically abuses his wife and children with his anger.

The journey to poetry or writing for Alfred started at a younger age. In most cases, he writes to ease himself from unhappy and thoughtful situations at home. Young Alfred, at around 13/14 years of age, penned down a 6000-line epic trying to walk the path of Sir Walter Scott, additionally to a drama written in blank verse.


Alfred Lord Tennyson started his schooling at King Edward VI Grammar School in Louth, Lincolnshire, England in the year 1816. After four years, when Alfred’s father started to battle from psychological & mental health breakdowns, which was medically attributed to severe drinking, the young writer was brought back home to continue his education.

Alfred Lord Tennyson got admission into Trinity College, Cambridge. That was another vital event of those years resulting in the publication of his work in ‘Poems by Two Brothers‘. That collection was combined with his and his brothers'(Charles & Frederick Tennyson) poems but Alfred was the greatest contributor to the collection.

While at school in Cambridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson started to have fun and enjoy life for the first time. Somewhere in 1829, he was asked to submit his poetry titled ‘Timbuctoo’ on the subject of Armageddon for Chancellor’s Gold Medal by his closest friends. Luckily for him, he ended up winning the award with that piece of writing.

Read Also: William Butler Yeats’ Biography; Life, Age, Poems, Plays, Wife, Poet Laureate

Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Wife & Kids

Alfred Lord Tennyson was in a romantic relationship with the daughter of his family’s solicitor, Emily Sellwood in the year 1836. They allegedly got engaged a year after because of the writer’s financial situation. Their relationship reached its end by the year 1840. Then somewhere in 1849, the two exes started to establish a common communication between themselves. They finally got married in June, 1850.

Alfred Lord Tennyson and his beautiful wife, Emily Sellwood were blessed with three children of which one died at infancy. Because of Alfred’s admiration and respect for his late friend Arthur Hallam, his eldest son was named after him.

He became the second Baron Alfred Lord Tennyson and wrote ‘Tennyson: a Memoir’. Their youngest son whose name was Lionel Tennyson died on their way home in 1886 from jungle fever.

In 1853, the writer and his family moved to the Isle of Wight where he built a secluded house in Farringford.


During the reign of Queen Victoria, Alfred Lord Tennyson was a poet laureate of the United Kingdom. After the reign of romantic poets like Keats, William Wordsworth and Byron, he continued the pen game with his prolific piece of art.

Most of his works were rich in melodies, imagery and full of vibrance. Also, his subject matter usually ranged from domestic situations to observation of nature and from medieval legends to classical myths.

Some of his most famous short poems include; Break, Break, Break, The Charge Of The Light Brigade, In The Valley of Cauteretz, Crossing The Bar and Tears, Idle Tears. Other examples of his iconic works also include; Ulysses, In Memoriam A.H.H.(written to commemorate his closest friend, Arthur Hallam), Tithonus and Idylls of the King.

Some of the phrases he used in his pieces have become part and parcel of the English Literature of today. Alfred Lord Tennyson is the second most quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations after the legendary William Shakespeare.

Alfred Lord Tennyson Famous Poems

In Memoriam

Crossing The Bar (Analysis)

Ulysses (Analysis)

The Charge Of The Light Brigade (Analysis)

Tithonus (Analysis)

Break, Break, Break

The Lady of Shallot

The Lotos-Eaters

Morte d’Arthur (Analysis)

Mariana (Analysis)


Alfred Lord Tennyson died at the age of 83 at Aldworth on 6th October, 1892. He was buried at Westminster Abbey. After his death, Tennyson Trail and Tennyson Down on the Isle of Wight were all named after him due to his prominence. A statue was built in the chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge to mark his legacy and contribution to the structuring of the world.

Summary Profile

Name: Alfred Lord Tennyson

Also Known As: Alfred Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson

Date of Birth: 6th August, 1809

Aged: 83

Place of Birth: Somersby, Lincolnshire, England

Education: King Edward VI Grammar School, Trinity College, Cambridge

Profession: Poet, writer

Parents: Elizabeth Nee Fytche and George Clayton Tennyson

Wife: Emily Sellwood


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