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Alfred Lord Tennyson: In Memoriam, Idylls of the King, Maud & more by Alfred Tennyson
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Alfred Lord Tennyson: In Memoriam, Idylls of the King, Maud & more

A BBC Radio Collection

$15.54

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Length 10 hours 51 minutes
Language English
Narrators Andrew Sachs, John Gielgud, Hallam Tennyson, Tim Pigott-Smith, Holliday Grainger, Ruth Padel, Melvyn Bragg, Mary Wimbush, Peggy Ashcroft, Rachel Bavidge, Jonathan Keeble, Charles Tennyson & Full Cast

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Summary

A definitive collection of Tennyson’s finest works

Alfred Lord Tennyson is one of Britain’s greatest and most popular poets. Even during his lifetime, he was considered a national institution: Queen Victoria appointed him Poet Laureate in 1850, a position he held for 42 years, and in 1884 he became the first writer to be granted a baronetcy. In a long and fruitful career, he penned numerous classic works, and this BBC Radio collection showcases some of the very best.
We begin with two of his masterpieces, dramatised by award-winning poet Michael Symmons Roberts. The Idylls of the King is an extraordinary epic poem that infuses the legend of King Arthur with a passionate intensity. Told here in five acts, it stars Tim Pigott-Smith. Considered one of the finest elegies, In Memoriam was written in response to the sudden death of his friend Arthur Hallam. This drama weaves the peerless poem into the story behind it, and stars Holliday Grainger, James Cooney and Ashley Margolis.
Crossing the Bar plunges us into Tennyson’s stirring sea-narratives, with sea-songs performed by a cappella trio Coope, Boyes and Simpson. It includes the poems ‘The Kraken’, ‘The Sea Fairies’, ‘Enoch Arden’, ‘The Voyage of Maeldune’ and ‘Crossing the Bar’ - read by John Dougall, Rachel Bavidge, Sam Dale, Jasmine Callan, Stuart McLoughlin and Joseph Kloska.
In Maud, Tennyson’s dark, lyrical verses tell of a disturbed young man roaming the windswept hills, madly in love and haunted by loss. Dramatised for radio in 1969, Harold brings to life the story of England’s last Anglo-Saxon King, starring Gabriel Woolf.
Next up are readings of Tennyson’s best-loved poems, including seven written in the language of his native Lincolnshire and introduced by his great-grandson Hallam Tennyson. ‘Aylmer’s Field’, his Victorian version of the Romeo and Juliet story, is read by Andrew Sachs; while Peggy Ashcroft reads his celebrated lyrical ballad ‘The Lady of Shalott’. ‘The Lotos-Eaters’, inspired by the tale of Odysseus and his mariners, is read by Sir John Gielgud. ‘The Northern Farmer’, ‘The Parson’s Daughter’, ‘The Church Warden and the Curate’, ‘Owd Roa,’ ‘The Village Wife’, ‘The Northern Cobbler’ and ‘The Spinster’s Sweet-Arts’ are read by Edward Campion and Mary Wimbush. Lastly, ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ is read by Alfred Badel, and ‘The Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington’, read by the poet's grandson Sir Charles Tennyson.
We conclude with a pair of fascinating documentaries exploring the poet’s life and work. Searching for Alfred in the Shadow of Tennyson sees Ruth Padel investigating the man behind the image, while In Our Time: Tennyson’s In Memoriam finds Melvyn Bragg discussing the poet’s moving meditation on love and death.
First published 1830 (‘The Kraken’, ‘The Sea-Fairies), 1832 (‘The Lady of Shalott’, ‘The Lotos-Eaters’), 1833 (‘Fatima’), 1850 (‘In Memoriam’), 1852 (‘Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington’), 1854 (‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’), 1855 (‘Maud’), 1859-1885 (Idylls of the King), 1864 (‘Enoch Arden’, ‘The Northern Farmer’), 1876 (Harold), 1880 (‘The Voyage of Maeldune’, ‘The Village Wife’, ‘The Northern Cobbler’), 1885 (‘The Spinster’s Sweet-Arts’), 1889 (‘Crossing the Bar’, ‘Owd Roa’), 1891 (Alymer’s Field), 1892 (‘The Church-Warden and the Curate’)
© 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Buy one get one free

This month only!

Become a member and shop our members-only, 10th anniversary buy-one-get-one sale in support of local bookstores.

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Celebrate our 10th Anniversary with giveaways, merch, and more! Learn more