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Alfred Tennyson’s funeral, held at Westminster Abbey on 12 October 1892, was attended by thousands of mourners. Family, friends, acquaintances and members of the public filled the Abbey and lined the streets outside.
This selection of mourning memorabilia includes a funeral admittance card and three memorial cards containing portraits and poetry. It was standard practice to issue memorial cards when any major public figure died and they were available for sale to the general public. Within the private sphere, too, memorial cards were used to announce and circulate news of bereavements. It was conventional to keep these cards as a personal memento. Note that all of these items are edged in black as typical of Victorian mourning stationary; it was customary to use mourning stationary until the mourning period (at least a year for adults) had passed. As well as providing an insight into the public response to Tennyson’s death, these material objects remind us that the cult of mourning was a lucrative business.