- Visualizing Camelot: An Introduction
- Visualizing Camelot in Everyday Life
- Visualizing Camelot at the Movies
- Visualizing Camelot in Popular Culture
- Visualizing Camelot: Major Authors
- Illustrated Malory Editions
- Ashendene Press Malory and "The Barge to Avalon"
- Retellings of Malory
- Illustrated Tennyson Editions
- Tennyson's Influence on Popular Art and Culture
- Tennyson, Watts, and the Strength of Ten
- Art Based on Malory and Tennyson
- Illustrating Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
- Reworking Twain's Connecticut Yankee
- T. H. White
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
- Children's Books
- Visualizing Camelot through Iconic Images
- Women Illustrators
- Credits and Acknowledgments
- 2024 Events and Programming for Visualizing Camelot
The first fully illustrated modern edition of Malory’s text did not appear until the end of the nineteenth century, with the publication of J. M. Dent’s Le Morte Darthur (1893-1894), illustrated by the controversial young artist Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898). Although Beardsley was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, particularly by Edward Burne-Jones, he also borrowed from other sources, such as Japanese art. His illustrations for the Morte were different from previous—and even from subsequent—representations of the Arthurian world, especially those intended to edify children. In his distinctive and deliberately decadent style, Beardsley depicted androgynous knights who are sometimes indistinguishable from ladies, while his bizarre and exotic border decorations and chapter headings contain lush, often suggestive vegetation, satyrs, nymphs, and hermaphrodites.
Malory had glorified the concept of knighthood and, in his various stories, chronicled the courtliness and heroic virtue of the knights as they sought adventure, loved truly, championed women and the oppressed, and strove to perfect themselves spiritually through their quests for the Holy Grail. Beardsley, however, chose not to illustrate such scenes of valiant accomplishment. Apart from “The Achieving of the Sangrael,” the drawing that he did on speculation for Dent in order to receive his commission for the Morte, there are no illustrations of Arthur and his companions engaged in quests or other typical chivalric pursuits. Beardsley’s counter-narrative, in fact, subverts the ideal depiction of ennobling heroic chivalry that was so prevalent in his time; it also unequivocally demonstrates the way that an artist’s program of illustration offers a unique interpretation of or commentary on a text. Beardsley’s death at the age of twenty-five contributed further to his notoriety. Today, he is considered one of the greatest and most innovative illustrators of Malory.