The poet’essay on uncle and aunt grandfather had violated tradition by making his younger son, Charles, his heir, and arranging for the poet’s father to enter the ministry. See the Tennyson Family Tree. Tennyson feel particularly impoverished and led him to worry about money all his life.
He also had a lifelong fear of mental illness, for several men in his family had a mild form of epilepsy, which was then thought a shameful disease. His father and brother Arthur made their cases worse by excessive drinking. His brother Edward had to be confined in a mental institution after 1833, and he himself spent a few weeks under doctors’ care in 1843. Tennyson brothers became well known at Cambridge. Arthur Hallam’s was the most important of these friendships.
He and Tennyson knew each other only four years, but their intense friendship had major influence on the poet. On a visit to Somersby, Hallam met and later became engaged to Emily Tennyson, and the two friends looked forward to a life-long companionship. Tennyson from publishing again for another nine years. Late in the 1830s Tennyson grew concerned about his mental health and visited a sanitarium run by Dr. Allen’s scheme for mass-producing wood carvings using steam power went bankrupt, Tennyson, who did not have enough money to marry, ended his engagement to Emily Sellwood, whom he had met at his brother Charles’s wedding to her sister Louisa.