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Emily Tennyson Letters

 Collection — Container: MS 6015
Call Number: MS 6015

Scope and Contents

This collection contains eighty-three letters from Emily Lady Tennyson, wife of Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), primarily to Margaret Gatty, children’s author and amateur marine biologist. The letters date from the time of their first meeting in November 1858 through 1873, shortly before Mrs. Gatty’s death. Covered in the letters are a variety of topics, including news of the Tennyson household and the literary activities of both families. A selection of these letters has been published in The Letters of Emily Tennyson (1974) by James O. Hodge.

The letters document many facets of daily life in the Tennyson household, as well as news of family and acquaintances. One of the primary themes is the health of both families, with various illnesses and remedies frequently described. Lady Tennyson also writes about business problems encountered by Lord Tennyson, as well as his progress on works such as “The Grandmother,” “May Queen,” and the ode sung at the opening of the London International Exhibition. In addition, she frequently includes the responses of both herself and Lord Tennyson to the Gattys’ published works, including The Poor Incumbent, The Hundredth Birthday, and collected sermons. Also of note are several letters discussing Lady Tennyson’s views regarding efforts for Irish independence. Other domestic news includes the frequent visitors to the Tennyson home, among whom are Charles and Louisa Weld, Lady Tennyson’s sister and brother-in-law; Benjamin Jowett; and Dr. Joseph Wolff.


  • 1858-1873
  • Other: Date acquired: 02/20/1951


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.


83.00 Items

Language of Materials



Arranged chronologically.

Method of Acquisition

Purchased from Maggs Brothers, Limited.

Related Materials

Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, Baron. MS Acc 110-113, Ms.E.9.4, MS Eng. 151, Artz Cab.11.8, MS Am. 1370 (15)

Tennyson, Emily (Sellwood) Tennyson, Baroness. MS Acc 114

Tennyson, Hallam. MS Acc 477

Tennyson, Lionel. MS Acc 478

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Lauren Pey, October 2010.

Processing Information

This electronic finding aid is transcribed from legacy data. In many cases, transcriptions were not verified against collection materials at the time of transcription. As a result, this finding aid could be incomplete and might only reflect a partial understanding of the material.

Statement on harmful description

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Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

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