Dominic Carlone has kindly shared Snatched Away in Beauty's Bloom, his elegantly designed Hallam site at the University of Windsor (from which this document comes), with readers of the Victorian Web.]
1811 Arthur Henry Hallam born in Bedford Place, London on February 1. His mother was Julia Elton of Clevedon Court, Somerset, and his father was the historian, Henry Hallam.
1818Arthur spends time with his parents in Germany and Switzerland during the summer. In his memoir of Arthur, Henry Hallam reports that, on this trip, Arthur "became familiar with the French language which he had already learned to read with tolerable facility" (qtd. in Brown, 447). He had already begun to learn Latin. Around this time, according to his father, Arthur also "wrote several tragedies."
1820-22 Arthur is educated by the Reverend W. Carmalt at Putney. After some travels abroad, he becomes the pupil of Reverand E.C. Hawtrey, Assistant Master of Eton College.
1822-27 At Eton, he develops his skills in the Latin and Greek languages. In addition to the ancient classics, he reads a great deal of English literature. Of past writers, his favourites were Fletcher and Shakespeare. Of the more recent writers, his father tells us, "Byron was at this time far above the rest, and almost exclusively, his favourite; a preference which, in later years, he transferred altogether to Wordsworth and Shelley" (qtd. in Brown, 448).
1827 Arthur takes part in the Eton Miscellany. He contributes prose and a poem on the Lake of Killarney. The Hallams move to Italy, spending time in Florence, Rome, Naples and Amalfi. While in Rome, Arthur falls in love with the poetry of Dante and Petrarch. He also falls in love with another English visitor, Anna Wintour, and writes a series of poems, in English and Italian, expressing his affection for her. Peter Clark argues that she must have been "at least five or six years older than Arthur" (14). Arthur's infatuation displeased his father. Thus, when Henry edited his son's Remains for publication, he left out any poems which were inspired by the Wintour affair.
1828-1832 Arthur attends Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his degree in 1832. Writing of this time in Arthur's life, Henry Hallam reports:
In the first year of his residence at Cambridge, symptoms of disordered health, especially in the circulatory system, began to show themselves; and it is by no means improbable, that these were indications of a tendency to derangement of the vital functions, which became ultimately fatal . . . His intensity of reflection and feeling also brought on occasionally a considerable depression of spirits, which had been painfully observed at times by those who watched him most, from the time of his leaving Eton, and even before (qtd. in Brown, 451-453).
At Cambridge, Arthur becomes a member of a society of intellectuals known as the Apostles. Among their members is Alfred (later Lord) Tennyson. Arthur develops a close friendship with Alfred, and falls in love with his sister, Emily.
1829 Arthur and Alfred compete for the Chancellor's Prize Poem, the subject being "Timbuctoo." The prize is awarded to Tennyson.
1830 Much to his fathers chagrin, Arthur and Alfred travel to the Pyrenes to witness the Spanish war of Independence. As Richard le Gallienne informs us, they "even went so far as to play at conspiracy, carrying messages and money to certain of the insurgents" (xxi). Arthur and Alfred also plan a joint publication of their poems, but at the request of Arthur's father, the project is abandoned.
1831 Arthur wins the first college prize for English declamation, on the subject of the Independence party during the Civil War. He writes his famous essay, "On Some of the Characteristics of Modern Poetry and On the Lyrical Poems of Alfred Tennyson," which is published in August, in The Englishman's Magazine. In it, Arthur articulates a forward looking theory of poetry based on "the desire of beauty."He praises Keats and Shelley and favourably reviews the contents of Tennyson's Poems, Chiefly Lyrical.
1832 Arthur leaves Cambridge, moves to London and takes up law at the Inner Temple. In spite of repeated attempts by his father to intervene and temper Arthur's relationship with Emily, the couple are engaged. Arthur had reached his majority, and no longer required his father's permission. He writes a critique of Rossetti's Disquisizioni sullo Spirito Antipapale. He also contributes memoirs of Petrarch, Voltaire, and Burke to the Gallery of Portraits, published by the Society for the Diffusion of Knowedge. However, the better part of his time is devoted to his law studies, and he almost completely abandons poetry.
1833 Arthur's health declines, and his father tells us, "An attack of intermittent fever, during the prevalent influenza of the spring of 1833, may perhaps have disposed his constitution to the last fatal blow" (qtd. in Brown, 455). Arthur and his father travel to Germany, and in the autumn an attack of fever worsens his condition.
On September 15th, Arthur's father went for a walk through the streets of Vienna and returned to find Arthur seemingly asleep on the couch. Sir Francis Doyle gives this account of the event in his Reminiscences: "Mr. Hallam sat down to write his letters . . . and it was only by slow and imperceptible degrees that a certain anxiety, in consequence of Arthur's stillness and silence, dawned upon his mind: he drew near to ascertain why he had not moved or spoken, and found that all was over" (qtd. in Gallienne, xxiv). Arthur had died of a "sudden rush of blood to the head." Despite his poor health, Arthur's death at the age of 22 was a shock to everyone. Alfred Tennyson was paralysed by severe depression for years to come.
1834 Arthur's remains are interred in the chancel of St. Andrew's Church, in Clevedon, Somersetshire, on January 3. Henry Hallam edits and privately prints Remains in Verse and Prose of Arthur Henry Hallam. Included are poems, essays and a biographical sketch of Arthur by his father.
1850 After years of depression and literary obscurity, Alfred Tennyson publishes his eulogy to Arthur, the monumental In Memoriam. The poem, which had occupied Tennyson intermittently since Arthur's death, chronicles the stages of confusion, despair and eventual acceptance of Arthur's tragic passing.
1862 Remains in Verse and Prose of Arthur Henry Hallam is published publicly.
Last modified 20 May 2002.
Thanks to Christopher Davies of Clevedon for correcting the name of the church in which Hallam is buried.