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Exploring the celebrity culture and lion-hunting associated with Alfred Tennyson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, this article argues that while both poets experienced enormous literary fame during their lifetimes, the celebrity culture surrounding them might have been a motivating factor in their subsequent decline in popularity, and the Modernist depreciation of nineteenth-century poetry. Exploring the ways in which Longfellow courted celebrity culture, the article turns to the lion-hunting exploits of Edward Bok, a Dutch-American magazine editor, to demonstrate the desire of Longfellow's readers to physically encounter him. Examining the intense media coverage attending Longfellow's travels to Britain in 1868–69, the article underlines his status as the ultimate American literary celebrity of the period, but also positions Longfellow as a 'lion-hunter' by focusing on his meeting with Tennyson on the Isle of Wight in 1868, and on the way in which their encounters in person and in print reveal contrasting attitudes to celebrity.