Alfred Tennyson, How to Know Him

9780217162920: Alfred Tennyson, How to Know Him

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1917. Excerpt: ... V V while for the most part isolating himself from the public life of his time in his outer experiences, was very far from living his life of thinker and poet apart from the march of science, politics, and philosophy. In this respect, as in so many, he contrasts interestingly with Browning; for Browning was to all appearances much more a man of the world than Tennyson, liking the gregarious life of the city, and the give and take of social intercourse, yet one can read almost all his works without being introduced to the specific problems of Victorian England. Tennyson's writings, on the other hand, form in large measure a commentary on the social and intellectual life of the mid-nineteenth century. This does not mean that he wrote much verse on distinctively social themes. There are fewer than a dozen brief poems which can be called political, and their content is pretty well summed up in the one stanza which became most familiar: /. Politics and Social, Progress A land of settled government, A land of just and old renown, Where Freedom slowly broadens down From precedent to precedent. This is Tennyson's England, on the political side, as in "The Palace of Art" he had sketched its most appealing aspect on the physical side--An English home--... all things in order stored, A haunt of ancient peace. There is an almost monotonous iteration of the same note in every passage where he touched on the British constitution. The fact is, there is no better way to understand Tennyson's political creed than to study that of Burke, as expressed most fully in his Reflections on the Revolution in France. I do not know whether the poet was a close student of the great publicist; probably it was a matter of coincident training and thinking, rather than of teaching and le...

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