The 200th anniversary of the birth of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892), one of the most popular of poets, is celebrated in 2009. Works such as "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Crossing the Bar", and "Tears, Idle Tears" have made him an internationally famous figure, and the second most quoted writer of all time (after Shakespeare).
Tennyson's poetic works encompass a great range of styles, settings and personae, and are known for their emotional resonance and powerful imagery. Naxos AudioBooks's popular The Great Poets series marks the anniversary with an audio bringing together all the key works, read by veteran reader Michael Pennington.
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There's no need to dip into the lesser works in a collection of Tennyson, and Naxos has made a fine selection here, mixing the best known ("The Charge of the Light Brigade," "The Lady of Shalott," "Ulysses," "The Lotus-Eaters") with others that will be less familiar to casual readers. One might quibble with some of Michael Pennington's line readings, but he has made thoughtful interpretations, and his voice is quite capable of meeting the musical demands of the poetry. There's nothing new here for Tennyson's fans, but the presentation is a strong introduction to a master's range of style and emotion.
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