Exploring Tennyson’s In Memoriam

Registration is now closed. A Newberry Library Adult Education Seminar

Since the Victorian era, Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s book-length poem In Memoriam has consoled countless readers through loss. The poem’s verses have also invited generations of readers to explore the dynamics of memory and the nature of faith, friendship, science, and sexuality. Participants in this seminar will read In Memoriam in weekly installments, progressively addressing the poem’s language and structure, range and depth, and lasting challenges. Each session will also include relevant background readings and works by other poets. Four session via Zoom.

Thursdays 2pm-4pm, July 28 to August 18, 2022
For the first session, please read the introduction by Erik Gray, as well as sections 1-8 of In Memoriam (pages xi-12).

Registration information here.

Materials List
Alfred, Lord Tennyson. In Memoriam. Third Norton Critical Edition, edited by Erik Gray. 2021. ISBN 9780393679236.

Week 1
In Memoriam: Prologue and sections 1-8
Focus: Poetic form

Session 2
In Memoriam: Sections 9-44
Focus: Key images and early reception

Session 3
In Memoriam: Sections 45-94
Focus: Influence and criticism

Session 4
In Memoriam: Sections 95-131 and epilogue
Focus: Science, progress, and endings

Image: Henri Matisse, Reading Woman with Parasol (1921). © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2020. Photo: Tate.