I don't really know much about Tennyson.... but this is what I have found out....
* Alfred Tennyson was born in 1809
* His mother had 25 proposals of marriage before marrying Tennyson's dad.
* He went to Cambridge to study and was known for his Northern accent and dirty shirts, but his voice was 'like the sound of pinewood.'
* Prince Albert visited him and went away with cowslips to make tea for Queen Victoria.
* There were some years of silence when Tennyson didn't publish, which Auden called his 'tavern years'...
* He used to drink tea from a bowl rather than a teacup which he saw contained 'a niggardly allowance'
* As a child the words 'far, far away' always had 'a strange charm' for him.
* He wrote the words 'tis better to have loved and lost/than never to have loved at all'
'Come into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, night, has flown,
Come into the garden Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the rose is blown.'
The book in the photograph is printed by The Folio Society with an introduction by Ruth Padel.