Happy Birthday,William Holman Hunt!

William Holman Hunt, one of the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, was born on this day in 1827.  Today I’d like to share some of my favorite Holman Hunt works. Truth to nature was one of the main tenets of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and an excellent example of this can be seen in the…
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The Diaries of William Allingham

If you’re interested in studying the Victorian era seriously, then diaries and letters are important.  At times I feel like a 21st-century snoop, devouring personal journals and private correspondence whenever I get the chance.  Through contemporary accounts, the past may not always come alive but it shines through the mist more clearly.  The diaries of…
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Art of the Story

In a post a few years ago, I said that my love of Pre-Raphaelite art probably stems from my lifelong love of stories.  Much of the Pre-Raphaelites’ work presents a narrative often inspired by literature and myth.  I have noticed recently that a number of Victorian artworks are not just the telling of a story,…
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Four grey walls, and four grey towers

After posting about Evelyn De Morgan’s painting The Gilded Cage, I began to think about other paintings that depict women who are trapped and imprisoned in some way, paintings that prompt me to ponder limitations and boundaries. The Lady of Shalott is perhaps the most obvious example that comes to mind.  Based upon the poem…
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To strive, to seek, to find

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” ~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti The birthday of Alfred,Lord Tennyson was this week, which brings to mind one of my favorite passages from his poem Ulysses: Tho’ much…
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The Unrequited Love of Mariana

Above is Sir John Everett Millais’ painting Mariana, which I’ve blogged about before in this post. Her dress is bluer than blue, the stained glass is exquisite, but let us have a moment of silence for the little mouse who died for Millais to include him in the work. When Millais first exhibited this painting…
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The Palace of Art

Huzzah! Once again it is #WombatFriday. Kirsty Stonell Walker has just written a fabulous post: The Illustrated Tennyson: A Brief History.  So, in honor of Kirsty, today’s Wombat Friday has a Tennyson theme. Pictured above, our hero the wombat can be seen with my own illustrated copy of Tennyson and one of my favorite images:…
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King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid

Sir Edward Burne-Jones’ painting King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid is based on the story of an African King who had never felt any attraction towards women until he spotted a beggar woman. In this tale of love at first sight, King Cophetua declares that despite her low social standing, she will be his queen….
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‘Mariana’, Sir John Everett Millais

When Millais first exhibited this painting at the Royal Academy, he displayed it with these lines of Tennyson: She only said, ‘My life is dreary- He cometh not’ she said She said ‘I am aweary, aweary – I would that I were dead.’ –From Tennyson’s poem Mariana The subject of Mariana was visited twice by…
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Tennyson’s ‘Lady Clare’

“He does not love me for my birth, Nor for my lands so broad and fair; He loves me for my own true worth, And that is well,” said Lady Clare. Published in 1842, Lady Clare is a romantic ballad by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.  Exploring issues of class, marriage and honesty, Lady Clare is the…
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To live forgotten, and die forlorn

And on the liquid mirror glow’d The clear perfection of her face, ‘Is this the form,’ she made her moan, ‘That won his praises night and morn?’ –Alfred, Lord Tennyson Mariana in the South   Like the Lady of Shalott, Mariana lives a secluded existence. The subject of Mariana was visited twice by Tennyson, in…
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The Lady of Shalott film now available on DVD

I am so excited that The Lady of Shalott in now available for purchase on DVD! The DVD includes: The DVD includes: A magical dramatisation of the poem, The Lady of Shalott. Alfred Tennyson (Ben Poole) reading the poem to an 1856 Christmas audience. An interview between Ben Poole (Tennyson) and Grace Timmins (TennysonResearch Centre,…
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Images of Guinevere

Medievalism grew in popularity early in the nineteenth century England and had a definite influence on William Morris especially, who even rode a horse in a toy suit of armor as a child. It is interesting that the story of Lancelot and Guinevere can be seen as a parallel to the story of William Morris and…
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Pre-Raphaelite Themes: The Lady of Shalott

Many of the Pre-Raphaelites drew inspiration from Tennyson’s poem The Lady of Shalott, and I find it interesting to see how each of them chose to portray her.  The Lady of Shalott, also called Elaine of Astolat, is a prisoner within “four gray walls and four gray towers” on the island of Shalott. (She is…
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April Love

April Love ,  Arthur Hughes  (1855). William Morris purchased this painting after it was exhibited, narrowly beating John Ruskin who also desired it. The artist exhibited April Love along with these lines from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s The Miller’s Daughter: Eyes with idle tears are wet. Idle habit links us yet. What is love? for we forget:…
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He cometh not, she said

This post has been updated and expanded.  Please click here.  When Millais first exhibited this painting at the Royal Academy, he displayed it with these lines of Tennyson instead of giving it a title: She only said, ‘My life is dreary- He cometh not’ she said She said ‘I am aweary, aweary – I would…
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