Tennyson pp 163-168 | Cite as

Memories of my Grandfather

  • Charles Tennyson
Part of the Interviews and Recollections book series (IR)


I suppose I’m the last person alive who had any at all intimate connection with Tennyson. It’s nearly seventy-seven years since he died at the age of eighty-three. I was approaching the end of my thirteenth year, so I was quite old enough to have a fairly strong impression of him. I was his grandson, and though I was the son of his second son, for the first ten years of my life I and my brothers were the only grandchildren. Then my father died, at the age of just over thirty-one, when I was six, and that perhaps intensified the interest which my grandparents took in my brothers and myself. Tennyson didn’t like London, and he had two country houses. One was on the Isle of Wight, which he bought in 1855, and which he retained for the rest of his life. In 1867 he built a new house in Sussex, and the reason for this is interesting. After the publication of Enoch Arden in 1864, he became so fantastically popular that the tourists used absolutely to besiege him on the Isle of Wight: people used to climb the trees in his garden to watch for him coming out, and press their noses against the panes of the diningroom window in order to watch him having his lunch. He was a very shy man, and very averse to publicity of all forms, and so he decided to build another house in Sussex, and in as remote a place as he could find.


Spring Flower Strong Impression Great Naturalist Tall Head Clay Pipe 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1983

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  • Charles Tennyson

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