Volume by Volume

Journal 1 (missing)

The earliest surviving journal (beginning 1 January 1855) is labelled as volume 2.

Volume 1 has not been located. See the Extended Introduction for further information about the disappearance of this volume.

Stuart Dodgson Collingwood (The life and letters of Lewis Carroll, T. Fisher Unwin, 1898) quotes an entry for 15 October 1853 (p. 53) and, elsewhere, he states that Carroll kept a diary from his 10th year.

It is not known what period of time is spanned by Volume 1. It is possible that the first of the numbered volumes began in his adult life, separate from his childhood diary (which, itself, could be in one or more volumes). That is to say, at some point he started on a new format, beginning with Volume 1. Alternatively, the missing volume 1 might contain all the entries from his 10th year up to 1854 and he started in the new format with the diary beginning in 1855, labelling it volume 2. This would imply that the childhood years were only briefly recorded.

Journal 2 (LCS volume 1)

1 January 1855 to 26 September 1855.

Dodgson begins the year 1855 preparing for the Senior Mathematical Scholarship at Oxford University having gained first class honours in mathematics in December 1854. During this time, he is reading extensively and widely such authors, playwrights and poets as Tom Taylor, John Horne Tooke, Richard Monckton Milnes (life of Keats), Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Henry Cockton, James and Horatio Smith, John William Burgon, William Shakespeare, Dinah Mulock (Mrs. Craik), Alfred Tennyson (especially Maud), Arthur Helps, Isaac Watts, Edward Burton, Marmion Savage, James Anthony Froude, Isaac Williams, John Maddison Morton, James Grant, John Ruskin, Coventry Patmore, Henry White, and Elizabeth Gaskell. He hears Fanny Kemble read Henry V.

He begins his career as a tutor of mathematics at Christ Church, teaching and lecturing to many undergraduates. He writes two marionette plays entitled The Tragedy of King John and Alfred the Great (both now missing). The old Dean of Christ Church dies, and Henry George Liddell (father of Alice) is appointed to replace him. Dodgson makes several visits to London attending the theatre and opera. He sees Bellini's Norma and describes the music as "delicious"; and Rossini's Barber of Seville which he notes as being "tedious". He is transfixed by Ellen Terry's portrayal of Queen Catherine in Henry VIII.

He tries his hand at teaching children in Croft school. He publishes 'The Dear Gazelle' and 'Photography Extraordinary' in The Comic Times. His father writes an important letter to him with advice about his future. He makes a trip to Whitburn to visit his Wilcox cousins, and meets the young Frederica Liddell, the daughter of Henry Liddell's cousin, and strikes up an early child-friendship. Dodgson comments on the events of the Crimean War as it unfolds. Dodgson has his first taste of photography watching his Uncle Skeffington take pictures of scenery around Croft (this later becomes his main hobby). 

Journal 3 (missing)

The third volume has not been located. (see See the Extended Introduction for further information about the disappearance of this volume.)

This volume would have covered the period October to December 1855. Collingwood quotes an entry for 31 December 1855 (p. 64).

Journal 4 (LCS volume 2)

1 January to 31 December 1856.

This period includes a number of significant events that were to have lasting impact on his life.

In February, at the suggestion of Edmund Yates, editor of The Train, Dodgson selected his now famous pseudonym from a choice of four; Edgar Cuthwellis, Edgar U. C. Westhill, Louis Carroll, and Lewis Carroll.

In March, with the help of his friend Reginald Southey, Dodgson acquired a camera (the wet collodion process had been invented about five years earlier). He was to devote 25 years to his hobby, leaving an opus of some 3000 photographs that command attention today for their unique and carefully considered composition, high quality of production and confirmation of photography as an art-form. Dodgson used his diary to record his sitters, and in this early period of his “one recreation” he took photographs of works of art (some copied from the pages of The Art Journal), scenes in the Lake District and Whitby, the Bishop of Ripon and his family, and many pictures of his extended family and friends. Probably the most important diary entry from all his journals occurred in this volume when he noted on 25 April:"Went over with Southey in the afternoon to the Deanery, to try and take a photograph of the Cathedral: both attempts proved failures. The three little girls were in the garden most of the time, and we became excellent friends: we tried to group them in the foreground of the picture, but they were not patient sitters. I mark this day with a white stone."

His meeting with Alice Liddell was to have a profound influence on his life and future reputation as an author. This journal listed a number of Victorian novels and poems that Dodgson read (Kingsley's Alton Locke, Tennyson's Maud, Dicken's Little Dorrit, Yonge's Heartsease, and Bronte's Wuthering Heights, among others), and in many cases he included his critical opinion of these books. He recorded his early literary contributions to national magazines. The summer was spent travelling in the Lake District and North Yorkshire and he described his holiday adventures; the places he visited and the people he met. Early excursions to the theatre are noted. The journal ends with a report of his “one-man” entertainment for the children (and parents) of Croft School during which he presented a magic lantern show, sang six solo songs, led the children in singing well-known songs of the day, and gave his impersonation of theatrical characters – not quite the activity of the shy and retiring character we have often been led to believe by his biographers

Journal 5 (LCS volume 3)

1 January 1857 to 17 April 1858.

In this journal, we see Dodgson settling into his role as Mathematical Lecturer at Christ Church. He took his M.A. in February 1857. He became an active member in Common Room affairs, particularly the meetings organised by the academic staff to discuss the implications of the Royal Commission set up to consider changes to the constitution of the college. The outcomes of this Commission were to have a major effect on the position of the Dons with increased emoluments and more involvement in the management of the college. Over a period of time, power gradually shifted from the Dean and Chapter to the academic staff. Further gains were made by the Dons during Dodgson's time at Oxford in which he can claim some credit for achieving.

The absence of the Dean and Mrs Liddell, currently in the warmer climate of Madeira for the sake of the Dean's health, meant that Dodgson could spend time at the Deanery getting to know the children well. However, his frequent visits gave cause for some rumours to circulate concerning a possible interest he had in the children's governess, Miss Prickett. He was, after all, only 25 years of age, and it was natural for people to assume that his attentions may have had a romantic purpose. This was far from the truth, and Dodgson took steps to remedy the situation, knowing that such a rumour could damage the reputation of Miss Prickett. He spent time improving his photographic skills and, naturally, many of his portraits included the Liddell children. With the Dean and Mrs Liddell away for many months, he was able to make arrangements to set up his camera almost permanently at the Deanery and then invite the families of his friends and colleagues to come over for a sitting. Photography began to assume an important feature of his life.

His interest in art and paintings continued. During this period he made the acquaintance of members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and was captivated by their pictures.

His publications during this period were mainly literary in character; he made further contributions to the pages of The Train. The most significant contribution was, without doubt, his parody of Longfellow, 'Hiawatha's Photographing'. Some verses written to accompany a photographic portrait of Agnes Grace Weld in the role of 'Little Red Riding-Hood', thought to have been lost, are reproduced here, as far as is known, for the first time. They were written into one of his many photographic albums, now in the Morris L. Parrish Collection at Princeton University, U.S.A.

Dodgson included in his journal the invention of two new ciphers and took several pages to describe how they operate.

Journals 6 and 7 (missing)

The sixth and seventh volumes have not been located. (see the Introduction for further information about the disappearance of these volumes.)

These would have covered the period April 1858 to May 1862.

Collingwood quotes several entries between 13 April 1859 and 20 November 1861.

Journal 8 (LCS volume 4)

9 May 1862 to 6 September 1864.

Photography was Dodgson's main recreational activity, and by the time of this eighth journal, it had become a frequent and time-consuming pastime. Dodgson's care and attention given to his hobby resulted in a systematic numbering of the majority of his photographic prints. This numbering, usually recorded on the back of his photographs and sometimes shown in mirror-image on the photographs themselves, is chronological.

Dodgson's continuing interest in the theatre and the arts is clearly evident during this period. In this journal he records his meetings with Oscar Rejlander, Arthur Hughes, Thomas Woolner, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, John Tenniel, John Everett Millais, Clementina Hawarden, Jenny Lind, Valentine Prinsep, Henry Kingsley, the Terry family, and George Frederick Watts, among other Victorian celebrities. His eagerness to meet famous people of his time, and his assiduous attempts to track them down and meet them through letters of introduction provided by his growing number of artistic and literary friends, tends to counter the suggestions of some biographers that Dodgson was a shy man. His diary tells a different story. Taking photographs of important people was, without doubt, one of his main objectives. He also enjoyed conversation and discussion with the literary people he admired.

Perhaps the most important event to be chronicled in the pages of this journal was Dodgson's boat-trip with the three Liddell sisters, Lorina, Alice and Edith, together with his friend Robinson Duckworth, on 4 July 1862, during which Alice's Adventures were first told. However, it received just one sentence and a few supplementary notes written in retrospect by Dodgson. He was characteristically modest about the event which was to make him famous throughout the world.

A noticeable feature of this journal is the use Dodgson makes of these pages for recording prayers and supplications to help him lead a better life. Although prayers occurred in earlier volumes, the frequency and earnestness began to take on greater proportions in this journal. There has been much speculation about the reasons and purposes of the prayers. Reading them in the context of his unfolding life, there is no clear and obvious reason which can account for them. They do show that he experienced moments of great self-doubt and guilt. Some prayers indicate that feelings of slothfulness and lack of attention to his duties as mathematical lecturer gave rise to regret. However, there are some prayers which are more personal and poignant. One gets a deep sense of Dodgson's inability to come to terms with the troubles in his mind, and a feeling that he was unable to control these feelings which caused him such anguish and concern, whatever the cause may have been.

Journal 9 (LCS volume 5)

13 September 1864 to 24 January 1868. The volume excludes the period 12 July to 13 September 1867 during which Carroll travelled to Russia, when he kept the separate Russian Journal.

The period covered by the ninth volume of Dodgson's private journal covers the publication of the book which made him internationally famous. The journal begins with an entry for 13 September 1864 in which Dodgson records the completion of the illustrations drawn into his manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, prepared as a gift for Alice Liddell. Already, Dodgson's decision to publish the book had been taken. He anticipated that its publication would be a significant event in his life, and he left space in his journal to record the chronological development of the book, adding subsequent entries to show the progress from manuscript to the publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Dodgson, now in his early thirties, is revealed in his journal as a confident member of society, at ease in travelling around the country, enjoying the opportunities that life has for a young adult making his way in the world. He is now established as a senior member of Christ Church in the important position of mathematical lecturer with a string of mathematical publications to his name. He makes regular visits to London taking advantage of the art galleries and theatrical productions in which he is greatly interested. His photography, of which he has become very proficient, opens doors to the famous celebrities of his day. Yet there is a thread which runs through his journals which shows a man who is not entirely at ease with himself. The prayers grow in intensity. Self-doubts and his lack of ability to maintain the very high standards he has set for himself return to trouble him.

Among the important people Dodgson met for the first time, during the period chronicled by this volume, are Ellen and Kate Terry, Mrs. Millais, Mrs. Craik (formerly Miss Dinah Maria Mulock), and the artist, James Sant, and his family.

Apart from the publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, the other significant event during this period is his trip through Europe to Russia in the summer of 1867 with his friend Henry Parry Liddon. Dodgson kept a separate account of this journey in two small notebooks (MS: Princeton), writing more expansively about the people he met, the places he visited, and the different cultural experiences he encountered.

Journal 10 (LCS volume 6)

2 April 1868 to 31 December 1876

There is a nine week gap between the end of the ninth journal, ending in January 1868, and the beginning of this the tenth. Dodgson did not record what happened in February and March 1868. Presumably he was busy with lecturing matters and nothing of significance occurred to him that he felt necessary to record. However, one publication appeared during this time, The Offer of the Clarendon Trustees, which was dated 6 February 1868. This parodied a published letter written by Professor Robert B. Clifton (1836-1921) seeking the building of a new science laboratory at Oxford. Dodgson suggested that a new university building could similarly be built for the study of mathematics but the tone of his letter was humorous and satirical (see Oxford Pamphlets, pp. 54-56). Eventually, Clifton designed and organised the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford.

The tenth journal records Dodgson’s meeting with a number of celebrities of his day. He meets for the first time Thomas Hughes (March 1876), Charles Kingsley (January 1869), Sir Noël Paton (September 1871), Lord and Lady Salisbury (December 1869), the daughters of William Makepeace Thackeray, Anne (October 1869) and Harriet (January 1872), and Anthony Trollope (December 1869). One significant event in Dodgson’s life described in this journal was the death of his father in June 1868. A number of other relatives including Uncle William Wilcox and many of his Wilcox cousins (Kate, Bessie, Charlie, Leonard, William and George), Aunt Henrietta Lutwidge, his favourite Uncle Skeffington Lutwidge, and Uncle Hassard’s wife, Aunt Caroline Dodgson, all died during the period covered by the tenth journal. Two of Dodgson’s siblings married; Mary (April 1869) and Wilfred (August 1871). A number of births were also recorded including various nephews and nieces.

After the death of Archdeacon Dodgson the family moved south and took up residence in “The Chestnuts”, Guildford, Surrey. Dodgson became “head of the family” and began to exercise this role with a strong sense of responsibility towards his brothers and sisters. He made frequent visits to the family home, supporting Aunt Lucy Lutwidge and his sister Fanny, both of whom took charge in running the household. Dodgson’s literary career continued with the publication of Phantasmagoria (1869), the German and French editions of Alice (1869), Through the Looking-Glass (1871) and The Hunting of the Snark (1876). The difficulties in getting John Tenniel to do the illustrations for Looking-Glass were fully documented. Dodgson also began the process of getting the Alice books dramatised for stage performances, initially by registering the texts to protect them from being used by other writers for dramatic purposes. Other important events included a number of visits to Hatfield House for New Year celebrations. He recorded the death of Edith Liddell and the marriage of Lorina Liddell.  

Journal 11 (LCS volume 7)

1 January 1877 to 30 June 1883.

Dodgson’s eleventh journal notebook includes his meetings with a number of celebrities of the day including Sir Frederick Leighton, Mark Twain, William S. Coleman, and William De Morgan. He also met two book illustrators he commissioned to work for him. The first was Arthur Burdett Frost, an American artist, who illustrated Rhyme? and Reason? (1883) and A Tangled Tale (1885). The second was Emily Gertrude Thomson with whom he remained in contact for the rest of his life. She illustrated the front cover of The Nursery “Alice” (1889) and the posthumously published, Three Sunsets (1898). He also approached Randolph Caldecott and William Ralston for the same purpose, but nothing came of these proposals. Dodgson corresponded with W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, the latter with an idea of having some of his poems set to music for a possible musical version of Alice. Sadly, nothing came of this proposed collaboration.

One significant event in Dodgson’s life described in this journal was his decision to spend his summer holidays at 7 Lushington Road, Eastbourne, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dyer. He took lodgings with them from July to October and this became his regular arrangement throughout this time period, and for the rest of his life. This enabled him to work on his publications and projects while at the same time allowing him to enjoy the delights of a popular Victorian seaside resort; the beach, the promenade, the pier, and the entertainment provided for the summer season. During this time, Dodgson began to develop the voting theory that resulted in his system of Parliamentary and Proportional Representation, aspects of which are used in elections today. He was inspired to invent this system as a result of elections within the Governing Body of Christ Church, of which he was a member, especially when he found that the voting procedures used did not always result, to his mind, in fair outcomes. He also began to apply these ideas of fair play to Lawn Tennis Tournaments where, according to the usual system operated, some of the better players were eliminated in the early rounds.

In 1882 he began to show interest in a three-wheeled cycle known as a velociman and he spent many hours working with other enthusiasts developing improvements to the mechanism. These diary pages contain drawings and sketches showing his ideas for making the velociman easier to steer and more comfortable to ride. Eventually he purchased his own tricycle. However, long walks were still his usual mode of exercise. Dodgson’s literary career continued with the publication of Euclid and His Modern Rivals (1879), his dramatic defence of Euclid against the new geometers, Doublets: A Word-Puzzle (1879), various articles and letters in The St. James’s Gazette, and Euclid Books I, II (1882), a popular book designed for school use which went into several editions.

Other important events included his resignation from the mathematical lectureship at Christ Church at the age of 49, a post he had held since January 1856. His stated purpose was to give himself more time for literary projects. However, within two years, he accepted the appointment of Curator of the Common Room, a position that cost him much time and extra work and which confounded his earlier intentions.

In this volume, Dodgson recorded the secret marriage of his brother, Skeffington, and the deaths of his aunts Lucy Lutwidge and Elizabeth Raikes. The deaths of a number of cousins were noted; Caroline Lutwidge, Menella Bute Smedley, Adelaide Wilcox, Fred Wilcox and Laura Dodgson.

Significantly, Dodgson gave up photography in 1880. He put away his camera and photographic equipment for the last time, never to return to his “one recreation”. There has been much speculation why he stopped taking photographs, but his true reason is revealed here (see n. 511).

Journal 12 (LCS volume 8)

1 July 1883 to 30 June 1892.

Dodgson’s twelfth and penultimate journal notebook shows a period of intense creative activity.  Dodgson now had his lectureship behind him and he has more time available for his own devices. In the journal Dodgson recorded his meeting with a number of celebrities of the day. He met for the first time Harry Furniss whom Dodgson commissioned to illustrate the two Sylvie and Bruno books. He encountered the Duchess of Albany, widow of Prince Leopold, and her two children, Princess Alice and Prince Charles, at Hatfield House, and a friendship ensued. He visited the poet, Coventry Patmore, and met his family. In his quest to help his brother, Edwin, to support the people on the island of Tristan da Cunha, he arranged various meetings with civil servants and politicians, including George Smyth Baden Powell. In his attempt to create a musical version of Alice he corresponded with the composer, Alexander Mackenzie, having already been turned down by Arthur Sullivan. These meetings reveal Dodgson’s ease in society, and the friendships among significant and important people that he encouraged and nurtured.

A number of significant events in Dodgson’s life are described in this journal. His investigation of symbolic logic continued and he took the opportunity to offer lectures at the Oxford Girls’ High School, sharing his ideas with young people. At Christ Church, he accepted the role of Curator of the Common Room, a position that required much time, trouble and effort. He transformed the organisational procedures and spent an enormous amount of time devising new accounting systems, re-organising the wine cellars and carrying out regular audits, improving the comfort and service for his fellow colleagues, and generally working well beyond the call of duty. This was his only college position apart from his former lectureship and a brief period as sub-librarian, and he seemed determined to carry it out to the best of his abilities. Finally, he achieved his ambition to see Alice dramatised for the stage, and in this he was strongly supported by Henry Savile Clarke, who wrote the libretto, and Walter Slaughter, who composed the music. Somewhere between a pantomime and an operetta, this musical dramatisation became extremely popular with audiences around the country and repeat performances were well attended by families. The play soon became a standard Christmas feature, especially in London. Dodgson continued to view his vows as a deacon of the Church of England seriously, and preached on a number of occasions at St. Mary’s, Guildford, and in Oxford. During this period he devised a number of puzzles and games, and invented the “nyctograph” for writing in the dark.

Dodgson’s literary career continued with the publication of the following important and diverse works: Lawn Tennis Tournaments: The True Method of Assigning Prizes (1883), Rhyme? and Reason? (1883), The Principles of Parliamentary Elections (1884-85), Supplement to “Euclid and His Modern Rivals” (1885) and a second revised edition of the main work, A Tangled Tale (1885), The Game of Logic (1886 – withdrawn, and 1887), the facsimile of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (1886), The People’s Editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass (1887), Curiosa Mathematica, Part 1, A New Theory of Parallels (1888), The Nursery “Alice” (1889 and 1890), Sylvie and Bruno (1889), Circular Billiards (1890), and Eight or Nine Wise Words About Letter-Writing (1890) together with the Wonderland Postage-Stamp Case. He also contributed to various journals including three important papers in The Theatre, “‘Alice’ on the Stage” (1887), “The Stage and the Spirit of Reverence” (1888), and “Stage Children” (1889), and in Nature he published “To Find the Day of the Week for Any Given Date” (1887). He produced a large number of printed papers and circulars in connection with the Curatorship of the Common Room including Twelve Months in a Curatorship by One Who Has Tried It (1884) and Three Years in a Curatorship by One Whom It Has Tried (1886). The prolific output made this one of Dodgson’s most creative literary periods of his life.

Other important events included here are Dodgson’s attempt to get government support to move the inhabitants of Tristan da Cunha to the Cape or Australia to alleviate their hardship and suffering. He was, however, unsuccessful in this quest, but, nevertheless, he did achieve supplies being sent to the island on behalf of the government. In 1884, his Uncle Hassard, whom he had relied on for guidance and support in family matters, died. Dodgson attended the funeral, but felt unable to assist in the service, such was his emotional state at this sad time. He reports the death of other key family members and friends including Charlotte Edith Draper, whom he had known as the child Edith Denman, his cousin Margaret Wilcox, his Guildford walking-partner Walter Watson, two of his nephews, young sons of his brother Skeffington, and his long-standing colleague and travelling companion Henry Parry Liddon. In 1892, Henry George Liddell resigned as Dean of Christ Church, and Francis Paget was appointed to replace him.

Journal 13 (LCS volume 9)

1 July 1892 to 23 December 1897.

The final volume of Dodgson’s diary, his thirteenth journal notebook, covers the period from July 1892 to December 1897. These five and a half years were spent in retirement but Dodgson was still very active in the creative sense; the principal activity being his study of logic and his intention to publish a three volume treatise incorporating his logical discoveries covering the elementary, advanced, and transcendental aspects of his investigations. Sadly, only the elementary part was published in his lifetime.

Among the significant events in Dodgson’s life described in this journal are the many lectures in logic he gave to various groups of people. These included girls at the Oxford High School, young ladies at St. Hugh’s Hall, Oxford, children at some Eastbourne schools (although story-telling and puzzles were also included), and a series of public lectures at Guildford. Dodgson spent much time developing his logical ideas, theories, and methods, trying them out on fellow logicians, not always with success as shown by his dispute with John Cook Wilson, professor of logic at Oxford.

Dodgson took time to indulge his passion – the theatre. He regularly took the train to London, often with a companion, to see the latest productions, and he visited the theatre many times during his summers at Eastbourne.

Another passion was for long walks, sometimes of fifteen or twenty miles – a time to think and reflect, to devise puzzles, to consolidate ideas, and to compose poems. If he undertook a walk alone, he would invariably time himself and calculate his average speed, and compare this with previous results for the same walk. He often noted the condition of his feet after a long walk, with varying outcomes. There can be no doubt that he walked at a brisk rate. However, in the company of an adult walking-partner or child, the pace would be more leisurely.

Dodgson began the habit of inviting a guest for dinner, either at Christ Church or Eastbourne, and this was often an unescorted young lady, thus defying the conventions of his day. A tête-à-tête evening meal was his preferred arrangement. He often refused opportunities to entertain two guests at the same dinner. With increasing frequency, meals at Christ Church were eaten in his rooms, food being brought over from the Kitchen for the purpose, thus giving him more time for writing projects.

His contribution to the life of the University was preaching at the University church of St. Mary’s, Oxford. These were daunting occasions, but he saw them as a privilege to address the young undergraduates on serious religious matters. He also preached at a number of children’s services at Eastbourne and St. Leonard’s, but instead of a sermon, he would tell a story with a moral. Unfortunately, many of these stories and sermons were unscripted and details do not survive.

His interest in games and puzzles was unabated. He invented “Co-operative Backgammon” – a variation on the conventional game using three dice instead of two. On the literary side he remained very productive. During this time he published: Curiosissima Curatoria (August 1892 – given to members of the Common Room), Syzygies and Lanrick (1893), Curiosa Mathematica, Part II, Pillow-Problems (1893), Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (1893), A Disputed Point in Logic (1894), A Logical Paradox (1894), What the Tortoise Said to Achilles (1894), Symbolic Logic, Part I, Elementary (1896), Resident Women-Students (1896), and an introduction to E. G. Wilcox’s The Lost Plum-Cake (1897). In addition, he printed a number of logic papers to assist his lectures. He was working on a collection of serious poems (mainly reprints) with fairy illustrations by E. Gertrude Thomson entitled Three Sunsets, and Other Poems, but this was published posthumously in February 1898.

Dodgson recorded the death of three Christ Church colleagues and friends: Charles Abel Heurtley, professor of divinity and sub-dean of Christ Church, Edwin Palmer, archdeacon of Christ Church, and Richard St. John Tyrwhitt, former student and tutor at Christ Church. He also noted the death of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate, in October 1892; he had long been an admirer of Tennyson’s work.