Documents by the 19th-Century British Poet Laureates
The post of British Poet Laureate has existed in some form since 1189, and though it was traditionally a position held for life, it is now held for a period of ten years. During the 19th century, five different men held the post, though Henry James Pye was appointed in the late 18th century and served until 1813, and Alfred Austin was appointed in 1896 and served most of his term during the early 20th century. The three men who served in between those two, and who indeed served for 83 of the years of the 19th century, were Robert Southey (served 1813-1843), William Wordsworth (served 1843-1850), and Alfred, Lord Tennyson (served 1850-1892). At Louisiana Tech we are fortunate to have documents by all three of these men in The Frellsen Fletcher Smith Collection, including handwritten poems by all three men. For more information about these documents click on the author links to the left.
- Dr. Rick Simmons, Department of English, Louisiana Tech University
Above: The signatures of Poet Laureates Robert Southey, William Wordsworth, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, as they appear on documents in the Frellsen Fletcher Smith Collection.