Search the Collection

Alfred Austin (1835-1913), Poet Laureate

Sitter in 10 portraits
Austin studied and practised law for several years before turning to the writing of literature. He published his first major poetic work, The Season: a Satire, in 1861. Austin went on to publish over forty volumes of verse, prose idylls, novels, and books of criticism. However, his poetry was not highly regarded by his contemporaries, and is now little remembered. In 1866 Austin became a leader writer for the Standard, a position he held for over thirty years. He also edited the National Review for several years. Austin succeeded Alfred, Lord Tennyson as poet laureate in 1896, although his appointment was probably based more on his services to the Tory party than on his poetic ability.