The Special Collections department of Glasgow University library holds a copy of the second edition of Poems by Two Brothers. The book is eighty-eighth of the three hundred copies printed in 1893 and comes from the collection of the Scottish artist D.Y. Cameron who had it rebound in vellum in 1901 and decorated the new cover with his own painted design, formed out of the initials ‘A’, ‘C’ and ‘T.’ Slipped inside the front cover are three newspaper clippings and an old post card. The post card is a picture of Farringford, the Tennyson house at Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight, the newspaper clippings bear the headlines: ‘TENNYSON’S VOICE ON RECORD Presented to the British Museum’; ‘SHE NURSED TENNYSON: Sister Durham Dies At 88’; and ‘GRANDNIECE OF TENNYSON. Would Like to Write Poetry. DRAWBACK OF NAME.’ This small Tennyson miscellany provides a glimpse of the poet’s posthumous existence in the early 1900s. Each scrap of print claims a material link to the former Laureate: his house, his voice, his nurse or his name. We are shown what Tennyson’s house looked like, informed that there is a gramophone recording of Tennyson reading ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ in the British Museum and told that it was at the suggestion of Tennyson’s nurse that he composed ‘Crossing the Bar.’ It is all the kind of anecdotal ephemera that might be of interest to collectors and enthusiasts and the article about Tennyson’s grandniece, published in The Citizen in 1927 is the most ephemeral of the lot. It begins:
At the present moment staying with friends in Wales there is a pretty -year-old English girl who would like to write poetry except for one thing. That drawback is her name.