Historical Context

(Poetry for Students)

Victoria and Albert
Tennyson is the poet most closely associated with the reign of Queen Victoria, and this poem in particular...

(The entire section is 616 words.)

Literary Style

(Poetry for Students)

Iambic Tetrameter
“Proem” is written in quatrains, which are four-line stanzas. It follows the rhyme scheme abba: the word...

(The entire section is 303 words.)

Compare and Contrast

(Poetry for Students)

1850s: Great Britain is the world’s political and economic leader.

Today: Since the fall of the Soviet Union in...

(The entire section is 275 words.)

Topics for Further Study

(Poetry for Students)

• In 1850, the year that “Proem” was published, Tennyson became the poet laureate of England, replacing William Wordsworth. Research...

(The entire section is 161 words.)

Media Adaptations

(Poetry for Students)

The British actor Sir John Gielgud recorded “Proem” and other sections from In Memoriam on an audiocassette titled Stanzas from...

(The entire section is 36 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Poetry for Students)

• The Norton Critical Edition of Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam contains background and sources, along with critical essays. It was...

(The entire section is 253 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Poetry for Students)

Eliot, T. S., “In Memoriam,” in Tennyson: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Elizabeth...

(The entire section is 242 words.)


(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Beetz, Kirk H. Tennyson: A Bibliography, 1827-1982. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1984. An introduction explains the organization of the work. Multiple references to In Memoriam and Arthur Henry Hallam are provided in the lengthy subject index.

Bradley, A. C. A Commentary on Tennyson’s “In Memoriam.” 3d ed. Hamden, Conn.: Arachon Books, 1966. Provides a close study of the poem, showing the relation of each section to others. Confronts difficulties in interpretation. Traces origin, composition, and structure of the eulogy, with other discussion, prior to commentary. Chart of changes in the text, appendix.

Buckley, Jerome Hamilton. Tennyson: The Growth of a Poet. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1960. Chapter 6 is devoted to In Memoriam and provides biographical background to—and explication of—the work. Relates critical response to it. Sees Tennyson as a major poet, whose work must be understood by familiarity with the imagination that produced it.

Chesterton, G. K., and Dr. Richard Garnett. Tennyson. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903. This reprint of a classic is important for researchers. Numerous illustrations; long biographical note on Tennyson.

Lang, Cecil Y., and Edgar F. Shannon, Jr. The Letters of Alfred Lord Tennyson. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1981. Volume 1 contains 32 separate references to In Memoriam. The synthesis of primary sources (letters) with secondary sources (books about Tennyson’s In Memoriam) strengthens good research.

Pinion, F. B. A Tennyson Companion: Life and Works. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1984. Illustrated, indexed, chronology, notes, and appendices. Provides a brief coverage of the poet’s life and long coverage of the poet’s writings, including a chapter about In Memoriam.