A letter to Hallam Tennyson by Julia Margaret Cameron

As usual, in reading about Alfred Tennyson, I came across a letter written by Julia Margaret Cameron to the eldest son of Alfred Tennyson, Hallam Tennyson. He was only three years old at the time and I thought Mrs. Cameron's tone was very endearing. I wonder though, her letter discusses Hallam's birthday (which was August 11, 1852 and her letter is dated March 15 1856. Either she missed his birthday on August 11 1855 or she's preparing for his upcoming birthday August 11 1856?  I just thought the date of her letter and his birthday being mentioned was quite interesting. 

In her letter, she references three of her children:  her daughter Juley (Julia), her sons Charlie and Henry as well.  Read the letter for yourself, 

Photograph of Hallam Tennyson, son of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) 
28 September 1857, Albumen print, (formerly owned by the Weld family)


15 March 1856

My darling little Hallam

       I have not forgotten that your birthday is come again. May God bless it to you my sweet little one and make it come often and often finding you "growing in stature and favour with God and Man" which means getting tall & great like Papa & Mama-praying to be good-and trying to be beloved _________(illegible)

       I have been thinking a great deal about what is the nicest thing I could send you as a "Birthday present" from "Mrs. Tameron" who loves you dearly and I decided that next to the Bible there was no book likely to be dear to you and few more good for you than your own beloved Papa's beautiful Poetry - therefore I thought you would like to have it all, as all your own and I have put the Books into green dresses-like the green dress you liked so much when you wished to be a Leaf & to go & live up in the Tree with me? Do you remember darling-?

        I remember well all the happy days spent in your dear house - and I wish with all my heart I was going to spend your Birthday with you. Will you give your Mama one of your largest longest kisses for me, and Juley: do you remember that happy romping girl Juley? And do you remember what good romps you used to have with "Mrs. Tameron. I hope your Books will arrive without having the edges scratched & rubbed - I was obliged to leave the edges open as it is a post office rule - and I was obliged to send them by post as it is the only way by which I can be sure to get them to your dear Mama's hand without trouble -

        How I wish when my little Charlie and Henry are playing that they were playing with you and darling little Lionel you would be four such happy little people and such great little friends. But I hope these happy days will come.

         My love and kisses to you & your little Brother & love to Papa and Mama from "Mrs. Cameron". 


Hels said…
Personal letters are historical treasures, aren't they? How did this letter survive 160 years?
Kimberly Eve said…
Hi Hels,
Thank goodness her letters survive.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
WoofWoof said…
I suppose this must have been written before she moved to Freshwater herself. I wonder where she was living at the time (Holland Park?) and how she came to know the Tennysons. I presume it was because she was so taken with Tennyson that she bought Dimbola House. Thanks so much for digging up this treasure!
Kimberly Eve said…
So many possibilities. Julia Margaret Cameron was living in London and did know The Tennyson family. Thanks for stopping by.
Kevin Marsh said…
What a treasure. A fascinating peep into history.
Kimberly Eve said…
I know and I want to know more, Kevin!