Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Alfred Lord Tennyson -- Maud, and the Charge of the Light Brigade

Strange, isn't it, how some of the books from the mid-1800's look really drab and uninspiring?

This particular book is from 1855, published in London, England by Edward Moxon. It's called Maud and other Poems by Alfred Tennyson (Poet Laureate) .

First off, there's no mention of his title.

The binding itself is nothing special. Just plain green cloth with indented decorations to the front and rear covers, yellow chalk endpapers and BANG -- right into the poems. No dedication page, no extras. No illustrations.

Well, there are eight pages of adverts for other books by OTHER authors jacked into the front endpapers... (and by the way, this copy is a first edition, first state, with the July 1855 date on the ads).

But inside, there's poetry. Not just words on a page, but real flowing, emotional poetry.

The last poem included in this small tome is The Charge of the Light Brigade, one of Tennyson's most famous -- which stemmed from a completely botched military action during the Crimean War.

It's a wonderful poem. Very stirring. Very sad. And mainly due to poor communication -- something that seems rife in military operations throughout the ages.

But all of that wonderfulness is hidden underneath a rather plain, drab cover just like so many other from that time period.


1 comment:

Chris Lowenstein said...

Sometimes it's the books that look like nothing that are worth the most!