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The Age of Tennyson   By: (1855-1939)

The Age of Tennyson by Hugh Walker

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THE AGE OF TENNYSON

HANDBOOKS OF ENGLISH LITERATURE.

EDITED BY PROFESSOR HALES.

Crown 8vo, 5s. net each.

THE AGE OF ALFRED (664 1154). By F. J. SNELL, M.A.

THE AGE OF CHAUCER (1346 1400). By F. J. SNELL, M.A. With an Introduction by Professor HALES. 3rd Edition, revised.

THE AGE OF TRANSITION (1400 1579). By F. J. SNELL, M.A. 2 vols. Vol. I. The Poets. Vol. II. The Dramatists and Prose Writers. With an Introduction by Professor HALES. 3rd Edition.

THE AGE OF SHAKESPEARE (1579 1631). By THOMAS SECCOMBE and J. W. ALLEN With an Introduction by Professor HALES. 2 vols. Vol. I. Poetry and Prose. Vol. II. The Drama. 8th Edition, revised.

THE AGE OF MILTON (1632 1660). By the Rev. Canon J. H. B. MASTERMAN, M.A. With Introduction, etc., by J. BASS MULLINGER, M.A. 8th Edition.

THE AGE OF DRYDEN (1660 1700). By R. GARNETT, C.B., LL.D. 8th Edition.

THE AGE OF POPE (1700 1748). By JOHN DENNIS. 10th Edition.

THE AGE OF JOHNSON (1748 1798). By THOMAS SECCOMBE. 7th Edition, revised.

THE AGE OF WORDSWORTH (1798 1832). By Professor C. H. HERFORD, Litt.D. 12th Edition.

THE AGE OF TENNYSON (1830 1870). By Professor HUGH WALKER. 9th Edition.

LONDON: G. BELL AND SONS, LTD. PORTUGAL STREET, KINGSWAY, W.C.2.

Handbooks of English Literature Edited by Professor Hales

THE AGE OF TENNYSON

LONDON: G. BELL AND SONS, LTD. PORTUGAL STREET, KINGSWAY, W.C. CAMBRIDGE: DEIGHTON, BELL & CO. NEW YORK: HARCOURT BRACE & HOWE BOMBAY: A. H. WHEELER AND CO.

THE AGE OF TENNYSON

by HUGH WALKER, M.A.

Professor of English Literature at St. David's College Lampeter

London G. Bell and Sons, Ltd. 1921

First Published, September, 1897. Reprinted, December, 1897; 1900, 1904, 1908, 1909, 1921.

PREFACE.

The age of Tennyson is defined, for the purpose of the present volume, as extending from 1830 to 1870. The date selected as the beginning of the period needs no explanation; but perhaps the question may be asked why the age of Tennyson should be supposed to end more than twenty years before Tennyson died. The answer is twofold. First, I may plead the strong law of necessity. Sixty years, among the most fertile and varied in our literary history, could be compressed within the limits of a volume like the present only by completely changing the scale of treatment; and this again would have put it out of harmony with the other volumes of the series. But, secondly, about the year 1870 or before it there took place a change in the personnel of literature, less complete perhaps than that which marked the beginning of the epoch, but still sufficiently remarkable. Among the historians, Macaulay was dead and Carlyle had done his work. Among the novelists, Dickens died in 1870, Thackeray seven years before, and Charlotte Brontë still earlier; while, though George Eliot survived till 1880, the only great work of hers which lies beyond the limits of the period is Middlemarch . Mill, who had been so long the dominant power in philosophy, died in 1873. The poets, Tennyson, Browning, Matthew Arnold and Rossetti, survived. In poetry however Arnold's voice was by this time almost dumb. Browning continued to produce copiously; but after The Ring and the Book his style changed, and changed decidedly for the worse. Tennyson changed too, but in his case there was some gain to balance what was lost. The best of the younger poets, like William Morris and Swinburne, clearly show the influence of new ideals... Continue reading book >>




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