Not currently on display at the V&A

Text of poem 'Lancelot and Elaine' from 'Illustrations to Tennyson's Idylls of the King and Other Poems', vol. 1

Photograph
1875 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In 1874, Julia Margaret Cameron's neighbor, and renowned poet, Alfred Tennyson suggested that Cameron create some illustrations for a new volume of his series of poems on Arthurian legends, "Idylls of the King." In the end, only three images were used, as woodcuts, but the full-size prints were later published in two volumes and were accompanied by excerpts from Tennyson's text and his signature. This is a section of verse from volume one.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleIdylls of the King, and other poems, vol. 1 (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Ink on paper
Brief Description
Text of poem 'Lancelot and Elaine' from 'Illustrations to Tennyson's Idylls of the King and Other Poems', vol. 1, 1875, illustrated with photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron
Physical Description
Printed page of poem text in book of poems with photographic illustrations.
Dimensions
  • Book cover height: 44.9cm
  • Book cover width: 39cm
  • Page height: 43cm
  • Page width: 33cm
Marks and Inscriptions
'Lancelot and Elaine So in her tower alone the maiden sat: His very shield was gone; only the case, Her own poor work, her empty labour, left. But still she heard him, still his picture form'd And grew between her and the pictured wall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . And in those days she made a little song, And called her song ‘The Song of Love and Death,’ And sang it: sweetly could she make and sing. ‘Sweet is true love though given in vain, in vain; And sweet is death who puts an end to pain: I know not which is sweeter, no, not I. ‘Love, art thou sweet? then bitter death must be: Love, thou art bitter; sweet is death to me. O Love, if death be sweeter, let me die. ‘Sweet love, that seems not made to fade away, Sweet death, that seems to make us loveless clay, I know not which is sweeter, no, not I. ‘I fain would follow love, if that could be; I needs must follow death, who calls for me; Call and I follow, I follow! let me die.’ A Tennyson'
Credit line
Gift of Miss M. Ffytche, 1927
Object history
Originally part of a bound folio volume containing 11 photographs by Cameron and 11 pages of verse text by Tennyson and 3 other text pages (two photographs are missing, the frontispiece image of Tennyson and the last image, 'The Passing of Arthur'). Volume 1 of two albums of illustrations to Tennyson's 'Idylls of the King and other Poems' published by Henry S. King & Co., 1874-75). Each photograph is mounted on bluish mounts with gilt borders.
Associations
Literary Reference'Illustrations to Tennyson's Idylls of the King, and other poems', vol. 1, by Julia Margaret Cameron. London: Henry S. King & Co., 1875.
Summary
In 1874, Julia Margaret Cameron's neighbor, and renowned poet, Alfred Tennyson suggested that Cameron create some illustrations for a new volume of his series of poems on Arthurian legends, "Idylls of the King." In the end, only three images were used, as woodcuts, but the full-size prints were later published in two volumes and were accompanied by excerpts from Tennyson's text and his signature. This is a section of verse from volume one.
Associated Object
87-1970 (Part)
Collection
Accession Number
87:1-1970

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record createdMay 8, 2014
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