Tennyson and Hallam: Life and Background
In Memoriam, unlike most literary works, stands in a close, though not simple, relation to a historical event — the death in Vienna, on 15 September 1833, of Tennyson’s friend, Arthur Henry Hallam. Tennyson received this news in a letter, dated 1 October, from Hallam’s uncle, part of which read: ‘He died at Vienna on his return from Buda, by Apoplexy — and I believe his Remains come by sea from Trieste.’ The Tennysons were taking an early dinner when the letter arrived; Tennyson read it, left the room, went to see his sister Emily, to whom Hallam was engaged, told her the news and caught her as she fainted. On 6 October he wrote poem 9 of In Memoriam.
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