Tennyson's Gift by Lynne Truss
It is July 1864 and the Isle of Wight is buzzing with eccentric creative types. A morose Alfred, Lord Tennyson is reciting 'Maud' to empty sofas, whilst photographer Julia Margaret Cameron white-washes roses and tries to capture Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) in heroic poses. Into this cauldron of unrequited love and egotism step the acclaimed painter G F Watts, his sixteen-year-old wife Ellen Terry and the American father-and-daughter team of phrenologists, Lorenzo and Jessie Fowler. Unexpectedly moving and luminously wise, Tennyson's Gift is the funniest novel ever written about a nineteenth-century Poet Laureate.