A carte-de-visite portrait of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), taken by an unknown photographer and published by the London Stereoscopic Company in about 1864. Tennyson was the most popular poet of the Victorian period. He was made Queen Victoria's poet laureate in 1850. A carte-de-visite is a photograph mounted on a piece of card the size of a formal visiting card of the 1850s - hence the name. The format was introduced by the French photographer Andre-Adolphe-Eugene Disderi (1819-1889) in 1854. As well as family portraits, commercial cartes of celebrities such as politicians, royalty and popular personalities were published. The craze for collecting celebrity cartes-de-visite in albums reached its peak during the 1860s but the format remained popular until the beginning of the twentieth century. The backs of cartes-de-visite were normally printed with the photographer's name and address.
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