An Exhibition Celebrating the Life of the Victorian Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) 7th August to 9th September 2009.
To mark the bicentenary of the birth of Alfred Lord Tennyson the directors of Farringford, the poet Laureate’s home on the Isle of Wight, are bringing back his furniture, paintings and manuscripts, not seen together since Tennyson’s life time, to his own beautifully restored library. The directors, Martin Beisly and Rebecca FitzGerald, are holding the first of a series of exhibitions relating to the life of Tennyson at Farringford.
Exhibition highlights include Tennyson’s terrestrial and celestial globes, the throne he had made from a Farringford ilex for Queen Emma of the Sandwich Islands, portraits by G. F. Watts OM R.A. of the poet, his wife and sons, and of General Giuseppe Garibaldi, the unifier of Italy, who famously planted in 1864 a wellingtonia at Farringford, a portrait by George Richmond R.A. of Professor Benjamin Jowett, who translated Plato at Farringford, Helen Allingham’s watercolours of the poet in his study and his Primrose Path of Dalliance . There is a magnificent rare album by Julia Margaret Cameron of the photographs she created to illustrate Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, which she gave to her daughter.
Among other photographs are Oscar Gustave Rejlander‘s Tennyson Family in the Garden at Farringford and Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographs of the poet’s great friend Sir John Simeon, MP for the Isle of Wight, the Fraser Tytler sisters as the Rosebud Garden of Girls and the actress Ellen Terry, the teenage bride Watts brought to Farringford. Library papers include letters from the poet to his infant son Hallam, letters to the poet from Queen Victoria, Robert Browning, Lewis Carroll, G. F. Watts and the sculptor Thomas Woolner R.A.. Lady Tennyson’s orders for the staff, catalogues of the poet’s books, and the poet’s proofs for In Memoriam A.H.H. ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’, and Maud.
The fully illustrated catalogue edited by curator Veronica Franklin Gould has an introductory essay by Professor Leonée Ormond, Professor Emerita of Victorian Studies at King’s College, London.
Says Rebecca FitzGerald,
“We are delighted that the bicentenary of Alfred, lord Tennyson’s birth falls at such a time when we felt ready to plan our first exhibition at Farringford. We dedicate this exhibition and the opening of his newly restored library to his memory and his life’s work.”
Says Martin Beisly,
“Its wonderful to be able to imagine Farringford as the hub of Victorian artistic life, and to dream of the artists, and the great and the good, that have been in this room over the many years that Tennyson lived here.”
Says Veronica Franklin Gould, Curator,
‘Our idea is to recreate the atmosphere around Tennyson, his family life and friends, and to reflect the fascination for nature that inspired his poetry.’
The exhibition will be open 10-5pm seven days a week, admission free. Farringford Hotel, Bedbury Lane, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, PO40 9PE Tel: 01983 752500 www.farringford.co.uk
To celebrate Tennyson’s bicentenary birthday on the 6th August the directors of Farringford are hosting lectures by two of the world’s leading Tennyson scholars; Leonee Ormond, Professor Emerita of Victorian Studies at King’s College, London and Marion Shaw Professor Emerita of English at Loughborough University and Chair of the Tennyson Executive Committee. Their lectures are entitled:
“Close to the Ridge of a Noble Down: Tennyson, Poet of the Island”
“Sheep, Tourists and Friends: Tennyson’s Visitors to Farringford”
These lectures will be followed by a celebratory tea. Tickets for this event are £22.00. All profits will be divided equally between two charities; The Watts Gallery Hope Appeal www.wattsgallery.org.uk and the The Earl Mountbatten Hospice www.iwhospice.org Further details, images and information are available from Rebecca FitzGerald 078999 11123 email@example.com
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