- 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
Illustrated Malory Editions
Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur is the work that has inspired the vast majority of Arthurian book illustration. Since there were no medieval illuminations in the Winchester Manuscript, the sole surviving manuscript of Malory’s Morte, and no illustrations in Caxton’s 1485 first printed edition, it was Wynkyn de Worde’s 1498 edition of the Morte that provided the earliest illustrations to the text. In his edition, de Worde included twenty-one woodcuts by an artist known only as “the Arthur Cutter,” some of which were used again in de Worde’s 1529 edition. (The unique surviving copy of the 1498 edition is now in the John Rylands Library in Manchester, but de Worde’s text and reproductions of the illustrations were reprinted by the Shakespeare Head Press in The Noble & Joyous Boke Entytled Le Morte DArthur , displayed here.)
The first fully illustrated modern edition of Malory’s text was J. M. Dent’s Le Morte Darthur (1893-1894), with original line drawings by the controversial young artist Aubrey Beardsley. Quite different from Beardsley’s images were the color illustrations for a later edition of Malory (1910-1911) by William Russell Flint (1880-1969). Influenced by the rich details of the Pre-Raphaelites (against which Beardsley had rebelled), Flint translated them into the language of his own art to convey the sensuality of the Morte, an aspect of Malory that many illustrators tended to downplay or ignore.
Arthur Rackham (1867-1939), perhaps the most prominent illustrator of Malory (The Romance of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, abridged by Alfred W. Pollard in 1917), had a talent for evoking a mood or an emotion through composition and color, as in the fiery brilliance of his Grail maiden or the festive green of the clothing of Guinevere and her entourage as they ride a-maying. Rackham’s interest in the fantastical and his ability to create an ideal, almost fairy-tale realm offered early twentieth-century readers a magical world of swords, sorcerers, lords, ladies, and legendary lovers into which they could escape. Yet the world war that raged as Rackham created his illustrations intrudes into his imagery, most blatantly in two of the full-page color illustrations that bookend the edition: the frontispiece and the final color plate of the last battle.
Anna-Marie Ferguson’s illustrations appeared in a 2000 edition of the Morte, the first complete edition of Malory illustrated by a woman. In her watercolors and black-and-white drawings, Ferguson captures the drama, the scope and the shifting moods, the beauty and the violence of the Morte, all of which suggest the ideals and the failings, the interplay of art and nature, and the exploration of male and female roles in the text.
(Shakespeare Head Press.) Thomas Malory. The Noble & Joyous Boke Entytled Le Morte DArthur Notwythstondyng It Treateth of the Birth Lyf and Actes of the Sayd Kyng Arthur: Of His Noble Knyghtes of the Round Table, Theyr Merveyllous Adventures Thachyevyng of the Sanc-Greall and in the Ende the Dolourous Deth: And Departynge out of This Worlde of Them All (1933).