The Works of Alfred Tennyson
- Tennyson, Alfred Lord

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Of all the photographers engaged in the business of illustrating editions of poetry in the nineteenth century, Payne Jennings (1843-1926) was one of the most prolific. Well known for his panoramic and scenic views of many parts of England, Jennings was a long time resident of Ashstead, Surrey, and his other books included Sun Pictures of the Norfolk Broads (1891) and Photo Pictures in East Anglia (1890), the latter with descriptions by Annie Berlyn. Jennings’ photographically illustrated edition of Tennyson would seem to be the first book of his working relationship with the publisher R&A Suttaby, themselves an important outlet for photographic illustration. All of Jennings’ volumes for R&A Suttaby are collected or selected works, the other four poets being Wordsworth, Longfellow, Barrett Browning and Shelley. Emphasis on the title page of Tennnyson’s position as Poet Laureate would suggest that the publishing venture was intended for a popular audience and, met with considerable success, prompted the ensuing four volumes. The books themselves function in much the same way as most other photographically illustrated poetry of this period, drawing on the model developed by the Bennett/Provost model for publishing Scott’s epic poems, with important scenes from the verse photographically illustrated with appropriate poetic caption. Interestingly, the first photograph in the main text is a portrait of a young woman – portraits being unusual in photopoetry at this point, notwithstanding traditional author portraits that precede texts in a variety of genres – and that she is given the name of ‘Adeline’, the name of Tennyson’s poem.

Book Details

Author: Tennyson, Alfred Lord
Title: The Works of Alfred Tennyson
Publication Year: 1878
Poets Featured: Tennyson, Alfred Lord
Photographers Featured: Jennings, Payne
Photographic process: Albumen prints

This book can be found in the University of St Andrews Library catalogue HERE

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