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Tennyson's Gift Paperback – 10 Jun 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books; New edition edition (10 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861977131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861977137
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,507,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Farce is one of the hardest literary forms to bring off: in Tennyson's Gift Lynne Truss manages the correct combination of inventiveness, planning and energy. All of her historical figures have fixed ideas that make them act against their own best interests--Tennyson is paranoid about reviews and photographs and Lewis Carroll is a snob fascinated by photography and small girls; the painter Watts agonises about past betrayals while ignoring his young actress wife Ellen Terry.

This is all the more a tour-de-force because Truss knows her material well enough to make much of the comic exaggeration come from things that were actually the case--the Tennysons spent their time on the Isle of Wight desperately hoping for a royal visit. She adds to the mix a phrenologist with an obnoxious child and a writer of anonymous letters, so that the sections of this novel continually build up comic intensity.

Most of the comedy here comes from excellent structure and timing and only in part from our preparedness to view eminent Victorians with the condescension of hindsight; this is an extravaganza with its roots in good sense and a fascination with the famous dead as they actually were. --Roz Kaveney

Review

A comic novel of subtle distinction ... richly entertaining and at times very moving. -- The Times

An enormously entertaining novel, with terrific writing throughout. -- The Sunday Telegraph

Exuberant and funny...it all folds together into a well constructed farce, buoyant, affectionate and wise. -- Frances Spalding, Times Educational Supplement

Terrific...Tennyson's Gift is witty, surprising, oddly compassionate and hugely assured. -- The Sunday Times

The perfect summer book. No deck-chair will be complete without it. -- The Independent

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Firstly I have to admit that I have no particularly detailed knowledge of Tennyson nor Lewis Carol, so I approached this book with an open mind as to its content. However, having just finished it I can say that is is a thoroughly entertaining read whether or not you have any particular knowledge of the main characters true lives', or indeed whether you intend to learn anything about their characters. The book is a thoroughly entertaining humourous, light-hearted read. If you like a dry, sarcastic British sense of humour, then I thoroughly recommend this book to you.
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Format: Paperback
Having read and loved Eats, Shoots and Leaves, I then bought Making the Cat Laugh, which is a collection of Lynne Truss's (hope I got the apostrophe in the right place!) articles on single life. It was so funny and so much like my own life that I was desperate to read something else by Lynne and delighted to come across Tennyson's Gift. She brings together in the same place Tennyson, Lewis Carroll and several other eminent Victorians and makes a wonderfully warm and funny novel out of it. It's now my favourite of her books - and there are still two novels I haven't read yet! Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book to read on holiday on the Isle of Wight as I always like to read something linked to the area I am visiting if possible. Anyone familiar with Lynn Truss's journalism and radio appearances over the years will know that she is a hugely entertaining and gifted writer. In Tennyson's Gift she takes a group of real and imagined Victorian characters - amongst them celebrated Isle of Wight residents Julia Margaret Cameron and Alfred Lord Tennyson - and weaves them into a thoroughly enjoyable comedy of manners. I've given this four stars because I'm sure Lynn Truss herself would be the first to admit that this isn't great literature, but it's a five star light-hearted read, especially if you know the Island or are familiar with the characters it portrays.
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Format: Paperback
If ever you go to Freshwater Bay in the Isle of Wight, do not miss out on Dimbola Lodge and the nearby Farringford Hotel. They were the homes in the 19th century of Julia Cameron (photographer) and Alfred Lord Tennyson (poet), respectively. Lynne Truss has written a most amusing novel about their life and times, about the visitors, like Lewis Carroll, who made their way there, and about the campaign Julia waged to get Lord Tennyson to sit for her. Sales of the book at Dimbola Lodge had denuded the shop of copies when we called this summer, but fortunately Amazon was able to fill the gap. Dimbola Lodge is both a museum and a cafe now, well worth spending lunch at, as well as the remainder of the afternoon.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this as a paperback from a charity shop a few years ago. Following a house move, I lost the hard copy, but I decided it was worth paying for a Kindle version to be able to read it again.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great read especially if you are familiar with the lovely Isle of Wight and have visited Dimbola. So funny.
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