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Adam Roberts is the author of a growing number of science fiction novels, short stories, essays and other writings. This site contains not just his blog, but everything you could ever want to know about everything Adam has ever published. And more...

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Tennysoniana

By Adam Roberts | January 17, 2011
Categories: Reviews


I edited the above selection of Tennyson's poetry for OUP in 2000. I was, accordingly, a little surprised when my copy of the LRB dropped through the letterbox this morning (date: 20 Jan 2011), and I opened it to find this review of the selection, by Seamus Perry. It's a fascinating review (occasioned, I suppose, by the fact that Oxford reprinted the edition in 2009) that has almost nothing to say about me, but which instead uses the edition as a springboard for a very perceptive, very interesting general essay on Tennyson. Part of me wonders whether an eleven-year-old edition is the best pretext the LRB editors, or Perry himself, could find for this; but a larger part was anxiously scanning the review for sentences of the 'Roberts has exhumed Tennyson's corpse and shat on its chest' variety. I didn't find any (we get: '...as Adam Roberts says in the introduction to his generous paperback ...', and 'Adam Roberts thoughtfully includes ...' and even '...readers will have to go to Christopher Ricks immense edition, since Roberts has not had the space to include cancelled poems and drafts ...' That's all fine by me; both the warm-side-of-neutral tone, and the scarcity of reference). The review is behind the LRB paywall, which is a shame, since as a piece of general Tennysonian criticism it deserves a wide audience.

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2 Comments to-date;

2 Responses to “Tennysoniana”

  1. nnyhav Says:
    January 20th, 2011 at 5:04 am

    And here I'd figured it was another Adam. But what took me even more by surprise was light shed albeit indirectly on yet another Adam's effort, Foulds, that is, and The Quickening Maze, in which Tennyson is a minor character playing off protagonist John Clare. How childhood and madness play therein, and how this may comment on the Auden-MacCarthy/Leavis contretemps (this being a poet's first novel) has opened interesting avenues (but thinking of Maud I forgot everything else ...

  2. Adam Roberts Says:
    January 20th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Oddly, OUP asked me to write a piece on Foulds' novel in my capacity of editor of this vol: and here it is.

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