Viola and Olivia

John Lucas Tupper

General Description

Date: 1850
Rhyme: ababac, with irregularities in the second and third stanzas
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: lyric

Scholarly Commentary


The poem, by John Lucas Tupper, takes off from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and is illustrated by Walter Deverell's etching, which is the frontispiece of The Germ no. 4.

WMR rightly judged both poem and etching to be poor. But he noted that “The etching by Deverell, however defective in technique, claims more attention, as the Viola was drawn from Miss Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal, whom Deverell had observed in a bonnet-shop some few months before the etching was done, and who in 1860 became the wife of Dante Rossetti. This face does not give much idea of hers, and yet it is not unlike her in a way. The face of Olivia bears some resemblance to Christina Rossetti: I think however that it was drawn, not from her, but from a sister of the artist” (see his 1901 reprint Introduction page 25).

Printing History

First printed in The Germ no. 4, page 145.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: jtupper005.raw.xml