Introduction to tennyson


Maud and some short lyric poems

Study Day, Sunday 18 February 2018, 2.00-6.30 p.m.
Price: £50.00 / £45.00 students. Tea and coffee provided.

CAMcard holders and members of recognised Tennyson societies can book at the student price. Please bring proof of status to the event.
Venue: Stapleford Granary, Bury Road, Stapleford, Cambridge CB22 5BP

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Join us for a rare chance to study the great Victorian poet Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-92) with Cambridge scholars Ewan Jones and Oliver Goldstein. There will be a lecture and discussion of Tennyson’s poetic techniques in some short lyric poems. We will discuss how to read lyric poetry, looking closely at some of Tennyson’s beautiful and moving short poems, and hearing the works read aloud by a superb reader. There will also be a lecture and reading of Maud (1855), a fascinating poem about love, madness, and the dangerous allure of war.

The day includes lectures, a seminar discussion, and readings. Hearing Maud read aloud is a mesmerising experience. Whether you know Tennyson’s work well or are approaching it for the first time, this study day will deepen your knowledge and enhance your joy in his poetry.

Short poems
'Break, Break, Break',
'The Charge of the Light Brigade' 
'Tithon' / 'Tithonus' 
See links below for texts of some of these poems.




Tennyson's poetry read aloud by members of the English Faculty, Cambridge, 2009.
English Faculty, Cambridge, short articles on Tennyson.
British Library on Tennyson.
Poetry Foundation on Tennyson's life.
Tennyson Society.
Tennyson Research Centre.
Andrew Motion reads Tennyson, Poetry Archive.


Ewan Jones

Dr Ewan Jones is a Fellow of Downing College and Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature in the Faculty of English, Cambridge. He has published on Coleridge, Wordsworth, Tennyson and other poets. His book Coleridge and the Philosophy of Poetic Form was published in 2014.  Ewan is involved in a project digitise manuscripts relating to Alfred Lord Tennyson. This project also explores the relations between poetry, visual culture and music in Tennyson's work. 

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Suggested reading

By Alfred Tennyson 
• Maud (1855), in Selected Poems, ed. Aidan Day (Penguin, 2003). Also online at English Faculty, Cambridge, read aloud by Jeremy Hardingham with text on screen.
• 'Break, Break, Break'. Online copy at English Faculty, Cambridge.
• 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. Read aloud by Adrian Poole, Cambridge.
• 'Tithon' / 'Tithonus'. 'Tithonus read aloud by Frank Kermode, Cambridge.

Visit to Wren Library

We hope to offer a visit to the Wren Library to see some of manuscripts of Tennyson's poems. This will take place on another day and will need to be booked separately from the Study Day. Further details to follow soon.