"I turned casually enough to Tennyson"
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1869)
Public DomainAlfred Lord Tennyson (1869) - Credit: Julia Margaret Cameron

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892), usually known as 'Alfred, Lord Tennyson', was the British Poet Laureate for the majority of Queen Victoria's reign. Immensely popular during his lifetime, he  remains a well-known and well-loved poet. Amongst his best known poems are The Charge of the Light Brigade  and The Lady of Shalott.


                                        'Down she came and found a boat

                                        Beneath a willow left afloat,

                                        And around about the prow she wrote,

                                       The Lady of Shalott.'


The Lady of Shalott - a painting by John William Waterhouse (1888)
Public DomainThe Lady of Shalott - a painting by John William Waterhouse (1888) - Credit: John William Waterhouse



It is interesting to note that the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) who photographed Tennyson and was a personal friend of his was the aunt of Virginia Woolf's mother, Julia Stephen. In 1923, Virginia Woolf began a play, a satirical farce called 'Freshwater', which she completed in 1935 (although it was lost to public view until 1969). It features her great aunt, Julia Cameron; Alfred, Lord Tennyson; the painter George Frederic Watts; and his wife, the actress Ellen Terry.