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Locksley Hall and Locksley Hall Sixty Years After  By  cover art

Locksley Hall and Locksley Hall Sixty Years After

By: Alfred Lord Tennyson,Captain F. E. Johnson
Narrated by: Denis Daly
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Publisher's Summary

"Locksley Hall" is a dramatic monologue written in 1835 and published in 1842.

Tennyson explained that the poem was not autobiographical but purely imaginary, "representing young life, its good side, its deficiences and its yearnings". 

The theme was suggested by the Poem of Imru-ul-Quais, which Tennyson found in a collection of Arabian poetry entitled The Hanged Poems. The speaker supposes himself on a journey with a company of friends.  When the group passes near a place where his mistress had lately lived, he asks them to stop awhile, that he may weep over the deserted remains of her tent. His friends comply with his request, but exhort him to show more strength of mind, and point out that in spite of his current unhappiness he has enjoyed his full share of pleasures in the past. Thus by the recollection of his past delights, his imagination is kindled and his grief suspended.

The performance of the Poem of Imru-ul-Quais is included in this recording.

Tennyson's narrator works through a wide range of emotions, negative and positive, and eventually arrives at a sort of catharsis. He also speculates on what the world might become: he presents various forms of human advance and conflict, which are finally resolved in a vision of a federated world of peace and universal law.

In 1886, Tennyson composed a sequel, also in the form of rhyming couplets, "Locksley Hall Sixty Years After". Here Tennyson expresses his disappointment at the failure of the industrialized world to realize the vision presented in the earlier poem.

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