Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-92) was born in Lincolnshire, the sixth of eleven children of a clergyman. After a childhood marked by trauma, he went up to Cambridge in 1828, where he met Arthur Hallam, whose premature death had a lasting influence on Tennyson's life and writing. His two volumes of Poems (1842) established him as the leading poet of his generation, and of the Victorian period. He was created Poet Laureate in 1850 and in 1883 accepted a peerage. In T. S. Eliot's words, 'He has three qualities which are seldom found together except in the greatest poets: abundance, variety and complete competence. He had the finest ear of any English poet since Milton.'