The Poetry of Lionel Tennyson (March 16, 1854-April 20, 1886)

Youngest son of Alfred Tennyson kept a diary wherein about fifteen of his poems coud be found. It is called Lionel Tennyson by Lionel Tennyson, printed in 1891. It is labelled his memoir but really it is a few of his diary entries with remembrances from long time friends. It sheds light on a man who died very young at the age of thirty-two years old. He never wanted to be an academic or a politician. He didn't want the pressures of being a public figure or a Baron as his famous father, Alfred Tennyson. Instead, he loved languages and theatre and drama. He always followed his own path, he adored his parents but was not the son who you would find at home during his college days. That was more his older brother, Hallam Tennyson.  Lionel, was a wanderer with a good heart and a serious independent streak. The minute he could go away to college he did mainly to satisfy his parents wishes. However, he always struggled in school having a slight stuttering problem that he never could get rid of.  He left Trinity, Cambridge, his father's alma mater, where he ended up meeting and marrying a beautiful brunette named Eleanor Locker on 25 February, 1878. They had three sons together: 

Alfred Browning Stanley Tennyson (20 November, 1878-28 February, 1952)
Charles Bruce Locker Tennyson (8 November, 1879-22 June, 1977)
Michael Sellwood Tennyson (10 December 1883-1954)

Lionel Tennyson left to go to sea with Lord Dufferin, where in India, he contracted jungle fever for about three months. Finally, on board ship on his way home, he passed away in his sleep on April 20, 1886 with his wife, children, and parents waiting for him dockside.

I just love this photograph of Hallam and Lionel Tennyson by W. Jeffrey
The boys tutor, Francis Atkinson sits center, 1861. Atkinson took over
for previous tutor, Henry Graham Dakyns (1861-1911).
Some sources for this photo say 1861 while others note 1863. 
I put both here. Housed at Lincoln Library



Kevin Marsh said…
Hello Kimberly,

These are truly wonderful poems. Its so sad about Lionel, such talent.
I like the photograph of his wife, she was a lovely woman.

Thank you for sharing.
Kimberly Eve said…
Hi Kevin,

I'm so glad you enjoyed the poems. I wanted to include all of his writing.
I love his poem, 'The Dupe' the french one. He talks about a woman not
being the one and in the last stanza he write, my brother says I told you so!
How funny is that. I love it! .

Thank you so much for commenting.