Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets.
Tennyson was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire, a rector's son and fourth of 12 children. He derived from a middle-class line of Tennysons, but also had a noble and royal ancestry. His father, George Clayton Tennyson was rector of Somersby (1807–1831) and vicar of Grimsby (1815).
Tennyson was first a student of Louth Grammar School for four years (1816–1820) and then attended Scaitcliffe School, Englefield Green and King Edward VI Grammar School, Louth. Tennyson and two of his elder brothers were writing poetry in their teens, and a collection of poems by all three were published locally when Alfred was only 17. In 1833, Tennyson published his second book of poetry, which included his well-known poem, The Lady of Shalott. The volume met heavy criticism, which so discouraged Tennyson that he did not publish again for 10 years. In 1855, Tennyson produced one of his best known works, "The Charge of the Light Brigade", a dramatic tribute to the British cavalrymen involved in an ill-advised charge on 25 October 1854, during the Crimean War.