"If one takes the point of view that the job of a poet is to sing, then Tennyson is unrivaled. It is with his superb music that he takes a ranking place among the great poets" (Rausen XII). During the Victorian age, he became a highly respected poet who gained a popular following seldom achieved by any poet in any age (Mazzeno 7: 2859). He was born on August 6, 1809 in the rectory. He was the fourth of twelve children of a Lincolnshire rector, Reverend George Clayton Tennyson, and of a vicar's daughter (deford 610). His father tutored him for the most part of his education, except for three years at the nearby Louth grammar school where he was treated very harsh (Rausen VII). Before Tennyson entered Trinity College, Canbridge, in 1828, he and his brother Charles published "Poems by Two Brothers." While attending the College, he became a member of The Apostles, which is where he first met Arthur Henry Hallam. Hallam became Tennyson's closest friend. When Hallam died in 1833, Tennyson grew overwhelmed with grief, which, later, prompted the writing of the long poem of faith and doubt, "In Memoriam" (Woods et al. 593-594). The period of time after Hallam's death was dreadful for Tennyson. One of his brothers became insane and the other was an opium addict. Tennyson fell in love with Emily Sellwood in 1836, but money worries and ill health postponed their marriage for fourteen years. They finally married in 1850, and, later, had two sons. His fame flourished as he grew older (Granner and Stern 542). "On October 6, 1892, Alfred, Lord Tennyson died, mourned by the whole nation in a way that no other English writer had ever been. He was buried at Westminster Abbey" (Rausen XI).
Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote his masterpiece, "In Memoriam," in honor of the death of his closest friend, Arthur Henry Hallam. He began writing bits and pieces of the poem in an old account book, and seventeen years later, it was published.