Fourteen years after the marriage of Charles Tennyson and Louisa Selwood, Alfred was finally able to fulfil the intention he had expressed in ‘The Bridesmaid’ to make Emily Selwood a ‘happy bride’. Two years later, on the 11th August 1852, Hallam Tennyson was born. His birth was an event that prompted an uncharacteristic flow of letters from the pen of his father, announcing the arrival of the child to friends and family. In a letter to Aubrey de Vere, Tennyson writes:

[…] the young unconscientious monsterling kept wailing his hard fate which was yet not so hard as his mother’s who suffers from an almost total want of sleep […] As to who the babe is like no one knows. His poor little silent elder brother was very like me, Mrs Marshall said; and certainly a larger finer child to look on than this […] Such a roar he sets up if he cannot get the milk in a moment out of the breast, such a lamentation if his little demi-bald sconce has to be brushed with a brush that would not bruise a midge. Strange too that the nurse calls him a very quiet child as children go. I was rather awestruck by him on his third day of life. I went into the nursery to look at him as he was lying alone and while I was regarding him I found that he was earnestly regarding me with wide open eyes in perfect silence. I felt as if I had seen a spirit […] You ask what his name is to be. My wife sticks out for Alfred to which (though I am an enemy to polyonomy as interfering with a man’s personal identity and causing him double trouble in signatures etc. all through his life) I cannot resist my desire to add the name of my old friend Hallam.1