The Life and Times of Tennyson <From 1809 to 1850>

The Life and Times of Tennyson <From 1809 to 1850>

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The Life and Times of Tennyson <From 1809 to 1850>

The Life and Times of Tennyson <From 1809 to 1850>

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Excerpt

Professor Lounsbury's name, I suppose, is most closely associated by the public with his studies in Chaucer and Shakespeare. His literary taste, however, was singularly catholic. Pope and Dryden, for example, appealed to him strongly because of their pugnacity and the keenness of their satire. Their poems he knew intimately, and he often quoted passages from them in conversation, not always accurately but rather by way of a paraphrase which gave new edge to an epigram. Of later poets the ones he read most were Byron, Browning, and Tennyson. From any one of the three, he would repeat, when in the mood for it, long stretches running to hundreds of verses. Among the poems of Tennyson which he sometimes recited were 'Locksley Hall,' the 'Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington,' and parts of 'Maud,' 'The Princess,' and 'In Memoriam.' Many of the quotations in this volume were first written out from memory.

This admiration for Tennyson began in youth and continued through a long life. It was his habit when a schoolboy to clip from the newspaper any new production of the poet and paste it in a scrapbook, first, I daresay, committing the lines to memory; and the most notable essay that he wrote while in college was a defence of 'Maud' against hostile criticism.

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