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Title: Tennyson and after
Author: Morton, John Samuel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 7231
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis is a study of the posthumous literary reception and reputation of Alfred Tennyson, from the year of his death, 1892, to 1950. Its focus is on allusions to Tennyson's work in poetry, fiction and drama, but it also takes works of criticism and journalism into account, as well as other evidence of Tennyson's continuing readership in the period. The thesis approaches the period by decades, involving in-depth assessments of Tennyson's influence on the work of writers as diverse as Conrad, Housman, Austin, Forster, Bennett, Owen, Sassoon, Lawrence, T. S. Eliot, Joyce, Woolf, Pound, Auden, Evelyn Waugh, and Graham Greene. Their various responses - from the appreciative to the scornful, the ambivalent to the oedipal - are put into context using works of criticism which discuss Tennyson, by both canonical writers such as A. C. Bradley and F. R. Leavis as well as less famous critics. The thesis calls into question Bradley's idea of a 'reaction against Tennyson' having already reached its peak by 1917. I will show that, in reality, Tennyson's influence and popularity endured long into the twentieth century, and that the aftermath of the Great War meant that the poet's work was truly at its nadir of popularity in the late 1920s and 1930s. The thesis will also address Tennyson's ultimate resurgence in popularity in the 1940s, partly as a result of the impact of World War II but partly as the writers who had seemed radical earlier in the century (not least T. S. Eliot) felt more comfortable about accepting their influences. The thesis ends by placing this in the context of the wider revival of interest in Victorian literature and culture in the 1940s and early 1950s The appendix of the thesis is a database of Tennyson's poems which appeared in anthologies in the period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available