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Tennyson: A Selected Edition (Longman Annotated English Poets) Paperback – 18 Oct 2006


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"Professor Ricks' second edition of the complete Poems of Tennyson is the best edition this century of the best poet of the last century."                                                          The Sunday Telegraph   

"Ricks's magnificent Tennyson."                                                                                   Professor Adrian Poole, Cambridge University

"In his line he is the best in the business and his achievement in his edition of Tennyson is just about as good as you can get."                                                                       Professor Frank Kermode

From the Back Cover

Tennyson: A Selected Edition is drawn from Christopher Ricks' own The Poems of Tennyson, which first appeared in 1969 and was published as a second, three-volume edition, in 1987. Acclaimed by both the literary and academic worlds, it is acknowledged as a major achievement of editiorial scholarship and has established itself as the authoritative edition of the great poet of the Victorian age.

Tennyson: A Selected Edition includes in full all four of Tennyson's long poems -The Princess, In Memoriam, Maud, and Idylls of the King - as well as all the great poems includingMariana, The Lady of Shalott, Morte d'Arthur, Ulysses and Tithonus. In addition - and of vital importance to the scholar and student - this edition retains all the headnotes and footnotes from the complete edition, which shed valuable light on context and composition and which illuminate the wealth of allusion, classical and other, that Tennyson brought to bear within his poetry.

Now in a corrected edition,Tennyson: A Selected Edition will remain the standard edition for many years to come.

Christopher Ricks is Warren Professor of the Humanities at Boston University and co-director of the Editorial Institute. He is the author of Tennyson (second edition, 1989), and is the co-editor, with Aidan Day, of The Tennyson Archive, which reproduces in facsimile Tennyson's manuscripts (31 vols., 1987-93).  His Professor of Poetry at Oxford for the term 2004-2009.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Tennyson: A Selected Edition is the collection of his poetry to own 20 Feb. 2015
By Michael Birman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tennyson's poetry has endured a roller coaster ride of critical and popular opinion since the iconic Victorian poet laureate went to his reward.in 1892. Adored and raised to the peerage by the Victorians, for whom he became the paterfamilias of imperial self-confidence and ambition, he was later rejected as overblown and sentimental by the modernist generation. James Joyce has his alter ego Stephen Dedalus refer to him dismissively as "Alfred, Lawn Tennyson" in the greatest of modernist novels, Ulysses. As this is the title of one of Tennyson's finest poems, the witticism is doubly resonant.

Tennyson's reputation is once again in its ascendancy in our post-modern (or is it post-post-modern?) environment. Time has erased most of his poetry's imperial implications and left readers and critics with the unadorned task of actually reading his work for understanding, edification and the sheer pleasure of observing a master craftsman create some of the finest verse of the modern era.

What was lost in the early 20th century rejection of Tennyson was an awareness of just how much he had created the modern sensibility. The first great poet to absorb Darwin's Origin of Species and its profound implications, as well as the scientific ethos that was about to forge a revolution in thought and technology, Tennyson's poetry is anything but complacent. It is often dark, questing, and it relentlessly questions the efficacy of a search for meaning in a cold and indifferent universe.

Tennyson is a doubter, unable to easily reconcile loss and life's uncertainties with a benevolent deity. In Memoriam A.H.H., written in response to the sudden death of his youthful friend Arthur Hallam, which had a profound impact on his verse, is one of the finest auto-biographical poems in English. Much of his subsequent work reflects that crushing bereavement. Ulysses, written in 1833 shortly after Hallam's death, is a singular example of Tennyson combining rich lyricism with a much darker vision that is an undercurrent in almost all of his poetry. The sheer volume of superb poetry produced by Tennyson over his lengthy career is impressive.

As with all of the volumes in the Longman's Annotated Poets series, this overview of Tennyson's poetry contains a carefully chosen compendium of his most significant work: including the complete Idylls of the King. Featuring extensive headnotes, annotation that can only be described as exhaustive and contextual notes that are well-focused and that place each poem in its proper historical context, this is the preeminent single volume resource for studying Tennyson's poetry. The more I read in the Tennyson canon, the more convinced I become that there is much of Keats in the great Victorian. A richness of imagery, a ripeness of language, and a beauty that can only be described as autumnal, coloring both poet's work in earth tones that are slowly fading in dwindling twilight. If Tennyson is a poet you want to read and understand, this Longman's Selected Edition is the book to have.
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