Current Display of holdings of the Tennyson Research Centre
There is always a sample from the holdings of the Tennyson Research Centre on display in Lincoln Central Library
‘The Most Picturesque Figure.’ Clothes and Accessories belonging to Alfred Tennyson and his family.
Lincoln Central Library
18 January 2013 to 14 May 2013
More information about the holdings of the Tennyson Research Centre can be found on the Lincs to the Past website: www.lincstothepast.com
Descriptions of Alfred Tennyson’s appearance abound. The American writer described him as ‘the most picturesque figure.’ His wife, Emily, who might be expected to find him attractive, said of him ‘I can scarcely imagine anything more glorious in human form.’ Edmund Gosse breathlessly described him as ‘magnificent’ and ‘bareheaded among Emperors.’ But there was also a carelessness: he wore a shabby old cloak for years and was ‘dusty, smoky, free-and-easy.’
- Alfred Tennyson. Cartoon by Ape (Carlo Pellegrini) for Vanity Fair July 1871, showing top hat and monocle (as well as spectacles!) (TRC 542)
- Alfred Tennyson. Photograph by Barraud, showing the eye-piece and Spanish style hat. (TRC 7)
- Meeting of Garibaldi and Tennyson at Farringford. Artist’s impression by Gilbert for Illustrated London News 23rdApri1 864, showing Tennyson’s Spanish style hat and cloak.
- Top hat with box. Silk top hat in tan leather hat box belonging to Alfred Tennyson. On the lid of the box are stickers, one printed ‘Haslemere’ and underneath it one printed, ‘[wate]rloo’; a tag is attached to the carrying handle, printed ‘Oetzmann & Co Ltd.’ On the box itself is another sticker, printed ‘London and South Western Ry. To Yarmouth Via Lymington.’ (LCNTE : 309)
- Opera glasses in a leather case. Opera glasses engraved ‘Alfred Tennyson from Sabine Greville, 1877’. Sabine Greville is described by Henry James as ‘a well-connected and wealthy follower of the arts with an undiscriminating passion for literature, celebrities and the theatre’. She was an ardent admirer of Tennyson. (LCNTE : 279)
- Shawl in Balmoral (Royal) tartan – The tartan was designed by Prince Albert and is dated 1853. The threads of black and white yarns are twisted together ‘to achieve the appearance of the rough hewn granite in Royal Deeside.’ It was only worn with the Queen’s permission by several members of the Royal Family and the Queen’s personal piper. (LCNTE:2011/1)
- Vauen pipe in dark travel case. In 1848, Karl Ellenberger and his partner Carl August Ziener established a pipe factory in Nuremberg. In 1901 they merged with Gebhard Ott another factory in town and they created a firm named Vereinigten Pfeifenfabriken Nürnberg - United pipe makers of Nuremberg - abbreviated : VPFN. “V” is said VAU in German and “N” becomes EN. Hence VAUEN. The company is still in business. (LCNTE :2012/20)
- Card case with two visiting cards. The cards have the address ‘7, Upper Wimpole Street’ which was rented by Alfred and Emily Tennyson in the winter of 1876-7 One of the cards has the pencil note ‘Many thanks, we can and will’ in Hallam Tennyson’s handwriting. (LCNTE : 283)
- Monocle One of the collection of six Alfred Tennyson’s spectacles and eye glasses. (LCNTE : 288)
- Two silver pocket watches, belonging to Alfred Tennyson. (LCNTE : 318)
- Card case with tassels. Purse or card case made of light brown leather red inside with five partitions and closed with wrap-around ribbon with two tassels (LCNTE : 2012/25)
- Brush and comb belonging to Alfred Tennyson. (LCNTE : 2012/9)
- Walking stick and umbrella belonging to Alfred Tennyson. The plate is engraved ‘A Tennyson, Aldworth, Haslemere.’ (LCNTE : 314; LCNTE : 313)
- Tennyson’s cloak, hat and walking stick. Cloak dates from about 1840 and was worn until 1870. Tennyson would have cut a dashing figure even in his own time. In 1830 Alfred and his friend, Arthur Hallam, as idealistic undergraduates, went to Spain taking money and coded dispatches in invisible ink to the revolutionaries gathering in the Pyrenees. It seems to have been at this time that Tennyson began wearing a Spanish-style cloak and the ‘sombrero’ that were to distinguish his appearance for the rest of his life.’ (Martin. The Unquiet Heart’) (LCNTE : 285.1; 285.2; 2012/81)
- Cast of left hand, (bronze) (LCNTE : 172)
- Fan. Carved ivory fan of 22 pieces, dating from early 19thcentury, belonging to Alfred Tennyson’s family (LCNTE : 2012/65)
- Pearls pearl necklace evidently worn by Alfred Tennyson’s mother, Elizabeth, every evening. (LCNTE : 2012/40)
- Patterns A folder dated 1829 of embroidery designs and patterns for collars. The folder belonged to Audrey Tennyson, Tennyson’s daughter-in-law. Some are handmade, some purchased. Some of them still have pins in and some have many pin-holes in them. Some of the paper is watermarked 1835.
- Child’s shoe in brown leather, labelled ‘Alfred’s first shoe sent me by his mother - CT.’ It probably belonged to Alfred Aubrey Tennyson, Charles Bruce Locker Tennyson’s cousin, whose mother was Audrey Boyle. Alfred Aubrey was killed in the last year of the First World War. The child could have been Alfred Browning Stanley Tennyson, the brother of Charles Bruce Locker Tennyson. If so, the sender is Eleanor Locker. (LCNTE : 2012/63)
- Beaded purse. Beaded purse, worked by Elizabeth Fytche, the mother of Alfred Tennyson (LCNTE : 336)
- Scissors. Embroidery scissors belonging to the Tennysons (LCNTE : 2012/6)
If you would like to see the family libraries of the Tennysons, please contact the collections access officer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a visit. These are just a sample from the rich archive.
Groups and individual visits to the Research Centre are very welcome by appointment. The nature of the archive would, like Tennyson’s own work in his time, suit all ages and many interests.
Feedback is always welcome. Please email email@example.com
You can read about the past display of the Holdings of the Tennyson Research Centre here.