Bachelor of Arts
Maud, Alfred Tennyson
"We now turn with diminished pleasure from In Memoriam to Mr. Tennyson's recently published volume of Maud and Other Poems: for the qualities we appreciate most highly in the former are precisely those which are most wanting in the latter." Thus the writer for the Edinburgh Review summed up the reaction of dismay and distaste reflected in the many notoriously adverse reviews that Maud received when it was published in the fall of 1855. Following five years after the almost universally-praised elegy for Arthur Henry Hallam, it put forth as protagonist a madman positing unacceptable solutions to social evils, and displayed a wholly different technical skill. About In Memoriam George Eliot had written that "the deepest significance of the poem is the sanctification of human love as a religion. Elsewhere it had been praised as "the best specimen of poetical style which Mr. Tennyson has produced. It has nothing of metre but the charm; we are never jolted by those unworthy concessions to the difficulties of verse. Harshness, verbal inexactness. ungraceful inversions and the other ordinary signs of incomplete workmanship, will not be tolerated now that such a standard, not of poetic possibilities" but of regular and undeviating practice has been established."
Marks, Lucy, "A Close Reading of Tennyson's Maud" (1973). Honors Papers. 753.