TENNYSON, Alfred, Baron Tennyson.

A Collection of five first editions by Alfred Tennyson from the Library of Arthur Tennyson, four INSCRIBED.

Date: [ 1870 - 1886 ]

All five volumes are in original green cloth, rubbed, with fore edges of boards uniformly affected by damp.

1. The Holy Grail, Strahan, 1870. INSCRIBED on leading blank: ‘Arthur & Harriet From Alfred & Emily’. 2. Queen Mary, Henry S. King, 1875. INSCRIBED on e.p.: ‘Arthur Tennyson from Alfred’. 3. Harold, Henry S. King, 1877. INSCRIBED on half title: ‘Arthur & Harriet Tennyson from Alfred’. 4. The Lover’s Tale, C. Kegan Paul, 1879. INSCRIBED on e.p. in pencil: ‘A & H Tennyson, Clifton, Bristol, June 6th 1879 from the Author Ad. T.’. 5. Locksley Hall, Macmillan, 1886. With gift inscription for Christmas 1886 in pencil on leading blank, not from Alfred, and partially erased. Alfred and Arthur were the fourth and eighth of the twelve children born to the Reverend George Clayton Tennyson, 1778-1831, and Elizabeth Ffytche, 1781-1865. Arthur, 1814-1899, who married Harriet West, is one of the ‘lost brothers’ of the family; no letters to or from him are recorded in the Tennyson Letters ed. by Lang & Shannon. The inscriptions in these volumes are probably in Arthur’s hand. His grandfather suggests in 1827 that Arthur becomes a ‘cadet or into the Navy’. In 1831 he writes: ‘I don’t know what Arthur is fit for. He still does not know the Multiplication Tables or indeed anything useful. He could learn if he would but he is idle as a Foal. He must be instructed before he can be fit for anything and his gestures and twitchings etc. are ridiculous and he would be a subject of ridicule anywhere.’ Another letter from Cecilia Tennyson refers to Arthur as ‘my poor brother’ (1837). By 1843, Arthur was voluntarily admitted to Dumfries Asylum in an attempt to cure his alcoholism - and was visited there by Thomas Carlyle. Later in the year he travelled with Frederick and Septimus to Italy - and stayed there for the next twelve years. In 1852, Emily Tennyson refers to ‘Arthur’s book of sketches’ and Charles says that he is ‘going to put up at Arthur’s’. He is mentioned only once in a letter from Alfred, writing to H.K. Atkinson in November 1873: ‘... Arthur is married, but has no family ...’. Little else seems to be known; Harriet West died at some point (date not found) and Arthur remarried Louisa Maynard. Interestingly, Alfred purchased his house, Farringford, on the Isle Of Wight, from the Reverend George Turner Seymour - of Clifton, Bristol, the address for Arthur & Harriet mentioned in the inscription to The Lover’s Tale.


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