The Pre-Eminent Victorian: A Study of Tennyson

By Joanna Richardson | Go to book overview
Save to active project


AT the end of November, Kegan Paul published Ballads and Other Poems. The ballads were The Revenge and the graphic, vigorous The Defence of Lucknow, and Rizpah, Tennyson's ballad of common life. The poems included those distressingly sentimental narratives In the Children's Hospital and The First Quarrel (the Laureate had once refused to stay with Dickens 'because I should be entreating him to dismiss his sentimentality', but that, after all, had been thirty-four years ago). The most interesting poem in the new collection, apart from the richly lyrical The Voyage of Maeldune, was De Profundis, which Tennyson had begun on Hallam's birth in 1852, and had now completed. In the first part of the poem he had greeted the new-born child, the physical miracle; in the second part he now greeted the child who had come from the world of the spirit, the creature endowed with a soul and a moral being:

We feel we are nothing -- for all is Thou and in Thee;
We feel we are something -- that also has come from Thee;
We know we are nothing -- but Thou wilt help us to be.
Hallowed be Thy name -- Halleluiah!

Swinburne rushed into parody,

God whom we see not is: and God who is not we see:
Fiddle we know is diddle: and diddle we know is dee,

and The Edinburgh Review lamented that 'the age has changed, but Tennyson has remained constant; and instead of being the impassioned exponent of contemporary thought, all he can do now is to bow his head and submit to it.' Yet Tennyson's admirers rejoiced at his return to lyric and narrative verse, at his showing himself again 'the Poet of the People', and the new book promised to rival Enoch Arden in popularity.

Tennyson himself remained intent on the conquest of the


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Pre-Eminent Victorian: A Study of Tennyson
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 316

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?