Illustrated Tennyson Editions


Gustave Doré, illustrator. Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King (a reprint of the Moxon folio edition).

Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale (1872-1945), an artist influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, produced charming and perceptive illustrations of the Idylls. Her Guinevere, for example, is not confined to a dark cloister but appears out of doors, in the courtyard of the nunnery. From the rough stones of the low wall behind Guinevere to the tiles on the roof above, the image is replete with texture. These simple details combine with the beautiful flowers and the loaves of bread in the basket that she carries, creating the sense that life goes on even after the tragedy she has endured, the sadness of which can be seen in her face. (See the two original Brickdale watercolors in the “Women Illustrators” section of this exhibition.)

All text for Visualizing Camelot © by Alan Lupack and Barbara Tepa Lupack, 2023-2024.