Lot 427
Sold for £ 7,440 (US$ 10,338) inc. premium

Lot Details
Collection of letters and cuttings formed by Alfred Lord Tennyson's son and biographer Hallam, second Lord Tennyson, and his wife Audrey, née Boyle, contained in four large albums, comprising letters to Hallam and Audrey on their engagement and marriage in 1884, some letters to Tennyson himself, letters to Hallam and his mother Emily on the death of Tennyson in 1892, and letters to Hallam on publication of his biography of his father in 1897, including autograph letters etc. on the engagement and marriage by Robert Browning (to Hallam, accepting an invitation to the wedding), Emily Tennyson (to Audrey's mother, on their engagement - "It is an unspeakable comfort to us to feel that a Son who has been to us as what few sons can ever have been to parents has found in a daughter equally devoted"), Sir Henry Ponsonby (from Balmoral to Audrey - "The Queen was delighted when she heard the joyful tidings... I received your letter this evening and at once told Her Majesty who commanded me to ask you to covey her sincere congratulations to Mr Tennyson"), and others; letters on Tennyson's death by William Aldis Wright of Trinity College (to Hallam, writing on 6 October 1892, the day Tennyson died - "I can say nothing to comfort you in your sad vigil, which may even now be at an end"), A.C. Lyall ("...Your father's death has affected me deeply... I belong to the generation which as been nurtured upon his poetry..."), Sir James Paget ("...Your asking me to be one of those who will bear his funeral-pall will add a very impressive event to the many with which he is associated in my mind..."), Montagu Butler, Master of Trinity ("...He is gone... God bless you all, dear dear friends - who have been so good to me and mine for more than thirty years! Your dear Mother! Just tell her we shall pray for her..."), and others; letters on the biography by W.E. Gladstone (remarkable eight-page letter, written at the end of his life and dated 22 October 1897, in which he compares his life with that of his old friend: "I have now finished reading your monumental book. This has been for me an exploit, in my state of vision, and amidst other physical impediments. For all who read the work, its perusal must be a delight. But, speaking for myself, I find it so deserves another description, more than either of those which I have given. It is a discipline. This discipline involves a great lesson of humility. I have found myself rebuked in every page. I did not know, or I had not made the conception a reality to myself, how great the man would stand by the side of his great works. It was indeed well for me that, guided by a sober instinct, I excused myself from compliances with your truly flattering suggestion that I should send to you for publication such observations as I might have to make about him... To me such I find in the cruelly absorbing nature of my profession, and the crowded labours of my life which have made the word leisure for me like a word in an unknown tongue. Friendship, outside the walls of Parliament and the Cabinet has been for me a thing paralysed or starved"; with another letter by him acknowledging the book's receipt: "I can only say that I regard the mere reading of your Father's life as in a true sense a solemn act"), Edward Burne-Jones ("...I read it every day, when the bothers of the day are over - sometimes a few pages only - putting it aside often & often, to moon over it and over it and over the past. For it is so much my past too. That I could not hurry over it for the world - all the awakening years of my life, the last school days and the undergraduate years & every hopeful thought in me, come back and stand by while I read..." ), Leslie Stephen ("...I was often at Freshwater & saw him surrounded by Camerons of all kinds... There is one reference in your book to the dinner wh must have been in my house. I think that it is in one respect inaccurate. Browning produced that verse about the 'rhinoceros' when Jeb was present, as I well remember: but I do not think that he made it on the spot..."), Lord Kelvin, G.F. Watts (two letters as "Signor" - "surely very very few since the civilization began have been so nobly endowed, mentally, morally, & physically, it is one of the greatest glories of my life that I was acquainted with one of the most splendid perhaps the most splendid examples of man as he might be but almost never is... I always felt so over shadowed as to be reduced to dumbness..."), Lord Salisbury, Lord Rosebery ("...the thought of my unworthiness only increases my sense of obligation. That would be still further enhanced if you would write my name in the first volume which I return herewith for that purpose..."), Henry Sidgwick ("...What I think the intelligent reader will feel, as he cuts the pages, might be expressed by Drydens exclamation about the prologue to the Canterbury Tales. 'This is God's plenty'..."), Joan Ruskin Severn ("...Your beautiful book has come! - and I am desired to send Mr Ruskin's love - and best thanks - it has been a great joy to him..."), A.C. Lyall, the Duke of Argyll, Dean Farrar, George Goschen, Meta Gaskell, daughter of the novelist ("...May I tell you that when my Mother - (who seemed the whole world to me) - was taken away without one instant's warning, it was 'In Memoriam' that saved my reason and my religion..."), Frederic Harrison, George Grove, James Martineau, Aubrey de Vere, Henry Irving, Franklin Lushington (3), G.O. Trevelyan, James Bryce, Maude Stanley, and others; miscellaneous letters to Tennyson including an effusion by Martin F. Tupper (to "Noble Tennyson" - "Your Career has been great: for you rose like the sun, - shine like him - & may your distant setting be as glorious"), W.H. Thompson, Master of Trinity (about The Lovers Tale), and others; with a large quantity of news clippings covering the military career of Audrey's brothers (especially Earle's attempted relief of Khartoum), her wedding, and publication of Hallam's biography; with a collection of Tennyson pamphlets bound for Hallam, a volume presented to Tennyson and other printed volumes, some letters cut at the edges for mounting, or tape-stained, contained in four albums, bindings broken etc., large 4to, c.1883-1897


  • "IT WAS 'IN MEMORIAM' THAT SAVED MY REASON AND MY RELIGION": AN IMPORTANT SERIES OF LETTERS TO HALLAM TENNYSON ON THE BIOGRAPHY OF HIS FATHER, one of the representative biographies of the Victoria era; this archive forming an important adjunct to the Tennyson papers now at the Tennyson research Centre, Lincoln: "Hallam Tennyson occupied a particularly important place in his father's life. He travelled with him around Europe taking nineteen summer tours between 1874 and 1892, and was closely involved in all his father's literary affairs, acting as secretary, confidant, occasional amanuensis, and warden of the poet's privacy... Tennyson was summoned home to assist after his mother's breakdown in health in 1874, and devoted himself to his family thereafter... Tennyson continued to act as his father's efficient private secretary until the latter's death in 1892. Succeeding as second baron, Tennyson then began immediately on his father's biography. With his father's friends Henry Sidgwick and Francis Palgrave, he sorted over 40,000 letters. At the poet's direction, more than three-quarters of his letters were destroyed under the supervision of Lady Tennyson. The resulting two-volume biography, Alfred Lord Tennyson: a Memoir by his Son (1897), is a conscientious work of guarded commemoration... On his deathbed, Lord Tennyson expressed regret at making a 'slave' of his son (Suzanne L. G. Rickard, ODNB). See illustration on preceding page.
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