Unexpectedly moving and luminously wise, Tennyson's Gift is the funniest novel ever written about a Victorian Poet Laureate
In July 1864, a corner of the Isle of Wight is buzzing with literary and artistic creativity. A morose Tennyson is reciting 'Maud' to empty sofas; the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron is white-washing the roses for visual effect and the mismatched couple, actress Ellen Terry and painter G.F. Watts are thrown into the company of the remarkable Lorenzo Fowler, the American phrenologist, and his daughter Jessie. Enter mathematician Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll), unknown to Jessie as the 'fiendish pedagogue', and Lynne Truss's wonderfully imaginative cocktail of Victorian seriousness and riotous farce begins to take flight.
'A comic novel of subtle distinction... A richly entertaining book, and at times a very moving one' - The Times 'An enormously entertaining novel, with some terrific writing throughout... a fast-moving farce which allows her sideswipes at the foibles of the famous. It is a delicious confection with some marvellous one-liners' - Sunday Telegraph '[A] wonderfully inventive jeu d'esprit... This epic of the Isle of Wight's literary apogee is virtually the perfect summer book. No deck-chair will be complete without it' - Independent 'A rollicking read. It is mischievous, light-hearted and fun, and it certainly made me want to find out more about the Freshwater circle' - Elisa Segrave, The Literary Review