The Princess: a Medley … Fourth edition.

London: Edward Moxon … 1851.

8vo., pp. [6], 182, [2]; a good copy in the original green cloth, blocked in blind, spine sunned; secretarial presentation inscription on the half-title: ‘Mary Alice Marshall. From Alfred Tennyson’, later ownership inscription of her daughter Julia O’Brien.


US $347€321

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Fourth edition, with ‘changes of very considerable importance’ (Wise), written when Tennyson was honeymooning with the Marshalls in 1850. The Princess (first 1847) is the only volume of poetry that Tennyson was to publish in the later 1840s, while finishing In Memoriam (1850). The poem went through considerable alteration in the third and fourth editions; it was almost entirely rewritten for the third, and the fourth added much new material and a redrafted Conclusion.

Mary Alice Marshall, daughter of Lord Mounteagle, was the sister of a Cambridge friend of Tennyson’s, Stephen Spring-Rice. In 1850 Tennyson and his wife Emily spent part of their honeymoon at Tent Lodge, which belonged to the Marshalls, in the Lake District. Here, they were visited by Edward Lear, Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, etc, and Tennyson began writing the material on the Prince’s ‘weird seizures’ that appeared first in the 1851 Princess.

Wise, I, 27.

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