Not currently on display at the V&A

Text of poem 'Guinevere' 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 'Guinevere' 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
'Guinevere. So the stately Queen abode For many a week, unknown, among the nuns; Nor with them mixed, nor told her name, nor sought, Wrapt in her grief, for housel or for shrift, But communed only with the little maid, Who pleased her with a babbling heedlessness Which often lured her from herself; but now, This night, a rumour wildly blown about Came, that Sir Modred had usurped the realm, And leagued him with the heathen, while the King Was waging war on Lancelot: then she thought, ‘With what a hate the people and the King Must hate me,’ and bowed down upon her hands Silent, until the little maid, who brooked No silence, brake it, uttering, ‘Late! so late! What hour, I wonder, now?’ and when she drew No answer, by and by began to hum An air the nuns had taught her; ‘Late, so late!’ Which when she heard, the Queen looked up, and said, ‘O Maiden, if indeed ye list to sing, Sing, and unbind my heart that I may weep.’ Whereat full willingly sang the little maid. Late, late, so late! and dark the night and chill! Late, late, so late! but we can enter still. Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now No light had we: for that we do repent; And learning this, the bridegroom will relent. Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now. No light: so late! and dark and chill the night! O let us in, that we may find the light! Too late, too late: ye cannot enter now. Have we not heard the bridegroom is so sweet? O let us in, though late, to kiss his feet! No, no, too late! ye cannot enter now.’ So sang the novice; 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
90-1970 (Part)
Collection
Accession Number
90:1-1970

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record createdMay 8, 2014
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