Victorian Celebrity Culture and Tennyson's Circle

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-10-31
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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By 1850, Alfred Tennyson was not merely the Poet Laureate, a commercially successful and critically acclaimed author, he was one of Britain's leading celebrities. Offering new analysis of the workings of Victorian celebrity, this volume explores the ever-expanding compass of Tennyson's fame and the efforts of the poet and others to control this phenomenon. It shows that Tennyson's retreat from mainland publicity to the secluded Isle of Wight and his limiting of his social circle to that of family and like-minded guests, only increased the demand of fans and tourists for access to the poet. Through an analysis of poetry, paintings, photography, illustrations, memoirs, reminiscences, diaries, letters, and newspaper and periodical articles, this book shows that Tennyson's fashioning of his reluctant celebrity affected not only his own life and works, but also had an effect on his celebrity and non-celebrity friends, and on the (self-)construction of his fans.

Author Biography

Charlotte Boyce is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Portsmouth, UK. She has published essays on Victorian cookery books and Victorian representations of hunger and famine, and is currently co-writing A History of Food in Literature.

Páraic Finnerty is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Portsmouth, UK. He is the author of Emily Dickinson's Shakespeare (2006) and of the forthcoming Dickinson and her British Contemporaries.

Anne-Marie Millim gained her PhD in Victorian Literature from the University of Glasgow in 2009. She was involved in the University of Portsmouth's project 'Tennyson's Celebrity Circle', then received a two-year postdoctoral research grant by the Luxembourg National Research Fund and is now principal investigator of an FNR-funded three-year research project on the feuilleton in Luxembourg.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. At Home with Tennyson: Virtual Literary Tourism and the Commodification of Celebrity in the Periodical Press
2. 'This is the sort of fame for which I have given my life': G. F. Watts, Edward Lear and Portraits of Fame and Nonsense
3. 'She Shall be Made Immortal': Julia Margaret Cameron's Photography and the Construction of Celebrity
4. Personal Museums: the Fan Diaries of Lewis Carroll and William Allingham
5. 'Troops of unrecording friends': Vicarious Celebrity in the Memoir
6. 'Much honour and much fame were lost': Idylls of the King and Camelot's Celebrity Circle

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