Although Arthur Henry Hallam is granted a column and a half in the pages of the Dictionary of National Biography, he remains a tenuous shade in the national memory. He achieved no conventional academic distinction or position of political or social prominence, he left little that may be called ground-breaking and he fathered no progeny, worthy or otherwise. This said, his early death at the age of twenty-two so profoundly shook the greatest poet of the Victorian age, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and its greatest prime minister, W. E. Gladstone, he was a living presence in their memory to the end of their long lives. More importantly for us, he is a presence in the canon of English literature to be equated with Lycidas and Adonais, for he was the subject of one of the most sustainedly moving elegies in our language, Tennyson's In Memoriam A.H.H.
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