Alfred Tennyson was born in Somersby Lincolnshire in 1809. His father was a rector at the local church.
However it was when Tennyson was at Trinity College , Cambridge that his talents were really recognised with his first individual collection of poetry in 1830.
After his father died in 1831, Tennyson left Cambridge and helped to look after his mother.
In 1833 he published his second collection of poetry which included The Lady of Shalott which was not received well by critics. After this Tennyson did not publish another collection for 10 years.
In 1842 Tennyson published another collection which was a great success and by 1850 Tennyson was considered one of the leading poets of his day. This led to him being appointed Poet Laureate, a post which he held to his death in 1892.
In his lifetime he was known for his long epic poems such as In Memoriam and Idylls of the King.
However in the 20th century his shorter poems such as Break. Break, Break and Crossing the Bar have gained popularity.