Not currently on display at the V&A

Text of poem 'The Holy Grail' 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 'The Holy Grail' 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
'The Holy Grail But she, the wan sweet maiden, shore away Clean from her forehead all that wealth of hair Which made a silken mat-work for her feet; And out of this she plaited broad and long A strong sword-belt, and wove with silver thread And crimson in the belt a strange device, A crimson grail within a silver beam; And saw the bright boy-knight, and bound it on him, Saying, “My knight, my love, my knight of heaven, O thou, my love, whose love is one with mine, I, maiden, round thee, maiden, bind my belt. Go forth, for thou shalt see what I have seen, And break through all, till one will crown thee king Far in the spiritual city....... 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
88-1970 (Part)
Collection
Accession Number
88:1-1970

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record createdMay 8, 2014
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