Lord Tennyson (1809–1892), who served as Poet Laureate of England from 1850 until his death, was one of the most famous men of the Victorian Age. A prolific poet with a deep attachment to rural traditions, Tennyson often hearkened back to material from classical mythology and medieval legend. Though not an especially forward-thinking man, he nonetheless infused old subjects with new life, all the while demonstrating an impeccable ear for sound, rhythm, and cadence. Tennyson began honing his craft from a young age, when he used poetry as an escape from a troubling family life, disturbed primarily by his father’s mental illness and substance abuse. After receiving his earliest education from his father, Tennyson left home to attend Trinity College at Cambridge University. There he forged perhaps the most significant friendship of his life, with the fellow poet Arthur Hallam. Tragically, Hallam died four years after their initial acquaintance, which sent Tennyson into a long period of grief that eventually produced what many consider his greatest masterpiece, In Memoriam (1850). Tennyson continued to write throughout the remaining forty years of his life, during which time he grew to be the most beloved poet of the age.