Tennyson is not known for his scepticism. This book argues that he should be. It proposes a revaluation of the way in which his work is read. Tennyson has always been understood as a poet who is committed primarily to endorsing spiritual values. But this study argues that much of his poetry is driven by a metaphysical scepticism that is associated, in part, with rational perspectives deriving from Enlightenment thought. The scepticism in Tennyson's poetry partakes in the complex generation of the modern that was taking place in his era. One of the purposes of the study is to demonstrate that a cultural studies approach to Tennyson trivialises his intellectual subtlety and complexity. Making extensive critical use of Tennyson's manuscript drafts, this study provides close readings of Tennyson's earlier, shorter poems, together with the principal works of his maturity including In Memoriam , Maud and The Lover's Tale , and will be a valuable resource for Tennyson students and scholars worldwide.
Dedication Epigraph Acknowledgements Note on the Text Introduction Discovery : Timbuctoo Wasted Lands: The Hesperides , The Lotos-Eaters , Tithonus The Abominable: Oenone The Archetype: The Lover's Tale (1832) The Archetype that Waits: Oh! that 'twere possible , In Memoriam That Abiding Phantom Cold: Maud The Last Echo: Idylls of the King Appendix A.: The Harvard Notebook 8 draft of The Lover's Tale Bibliography Index