Annual Gladstone Lecture

Phyllis Weliver is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at St Louis University. Her research focuses on the links between literature, music and various Victorian discourses including those of gender and domesticity, national and political spheres, scientific developments in evolutionary biology, mesmerism, multiple consciousness, group management and theories of memory and identity.

Her lecture will centre on the rejected marriage proposal of Hallam Tennyson (the poet’s eldest son) to Mary Gladstone and the manner in which this actually brought the two families closer together, in part through Alfred Tennyson’s presentation to Mary Gladstone of a pre-publication copy of ‘The Lover’s Tale’ which was meant to contain specific meaning – a meaning which can be discovered through the subject of the poem, her marginalia and diary descriptions. The set of incidents that Dr Weliver will be talking about overturns scholarship of the last two decades which posits animosity between William Gladstone and Alfred Tennyson.