Alfred, Lord Tennyson1866 by Julia Margaret Cameron

When Cameron's husband retired in 1848 from the Calcutta Council of Education and the Supreme Council of India, they moved to England, settling first in Tunbridge Wells, near Charles's old friend the poet Henry Taylor, and later in Putney Heath, near the poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson and his wife. For Cameron, these men were not merely friends and neighbors, but also intellectual, spiritual, and artistic advisors. In 1860, while her husband was in Ceylon checking on the family coffee plantations, Cameron visited the Tennysons' new home at Freshwater on the Isle of Wight and promptly purchased two cottages next door, which she joined together as the new family home.

Cameron's friendship and determination knew no bounds; indeed, her kindness could be overbearing at times. It took 3 years of pleading before Cameron convinced Tennyson (who jokingly referred to her models as "victims") to sit for his portrait. (
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