F is for …


Freshwater Circle


Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight.

Tennyson is to the Freshwater Circle as Woolf is to the Bloomsbury Group

The Freshwater Circle was another crowd of bohemian artists, writers, poets , photographers and painters. This group was meeting before Virginia was born; it started around 1853 when Tennyson moved to Freshwater, Isle of Wight, and became neighbours with Virginia’s famous photographer aunt, Julia Margaret Cameron.

Tennyson was seeking escape from his fans. He found their climbing trees to catch a glimpse of him and their walking into his garden, an intolerable breach of his privacy. Freshwater was a means of escape and he moved there with his family in 1853 and lived there until his death in 1892.

Tennyson, as poet Laureate, was one of the most famous men in Britain at that time and the Freshwater Circle, which included Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, comprised famous celebrities of the Victorian era. Tennyson’s presence on the Isle of Wight encouraged like minded people to gather there. The Cameron family and the Tennyson family visited each other regularly.  It is difficult to see them as such today, but Victorian writers and poets were the equivalent, I suppose, of our modern day famous musicians, actors and supermodels.

Tennyson’s move to Freshwater was ironic as he actually ended up creating a bit of a tourist attraction where people came to catch glimpses of him and other members of this famous group.

The photograph of Freshwater Bay is by Linda Hartley. Please see her blog and photography at:  Linda M Hartley  and Linda Hartley flickr  Attribution: By Linda Hartley from London, UK [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


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