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Tennyson collection (19th–20th C.)

The Tennyson collection was purchased from the estate of Cyril Brett, Professor of English at Cardiff from 1921 until his death in 1936. The collection includes an almost complete set of published editions of Tennyson’s works of poetry for the pre-1900 period, revealing how the poet constantly revised his work even after publication.  This set is accompanied and supported by biographical and critical studies, periodical literature and newspaper articles. Musical settings of some of the poems are also held. The highlight of the collection is a group of exceptionally rare, hand-coloured, pseudo-medieval volumes.

Also held is the 40 volume published version of the Tennyson Archive - thousands of photographs of manuscript material held in Britain and America, including material from Harvard, Princeton, Virginia, Yale, Huntingdon, Philadelphia, N.Y. Public Library, Harry Ransom Centre Texas, Bodley Oxford, Cambridge University, British Library, Trinity Cambridge, London University, and the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Date range: 19th century, plus some items from the 20th century.

Significance: Significant in the United Kingdom.

Size: C. 500 items, printed.

Language: English.

Keywords: Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892), English literature, literary criticism.

Notes: A printed catalogue of the Tennyson Collection is available. The remainder of Brett’s library was also acquired by the University, covering his interests in literature more broadly, and his personal papers are also held.