Mayall, Jeffrey, Mudd and Rejlander were all professional photographers who made images of Tennyson and his family with their consent. This behaviour is not consistent with a retiring poet who hated portraiture and avoided publicity, although in some ways this was an understandable response to a new medium: photographic portraiture was becoming widespread and was a novelty for many middle-class people. In addition, photography was receiving enthusiastic Royal endorsement. . . . Of the early images, James Mudd’s portrait of Tennyson in a ‘wide-awake-hat’ published by Cundall and Downes seems to have been one of the most widely disseminated. A number of images can be associated with the same sitting although the most extant copies date from the early 1860s.

Portraits of Alfred Lord Tennyson

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Last modified 15 April 2017