The Lady of Shalott

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1856-1857


◦ George Layard, Tennyson and his Pre-Raphaelite Illustrators, 49-65.

◦ Jan Marsh, “Hoping you will not think me too fastidious: Pre-Raphaelite Artists and the Moxon Tennsyon”, JPRAS 2:1 1989 11-18

◦ WMR, Family Letters, vol. 1, 190.

◦ Sharp, DGR: A Record and a Study, 107-112.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 49 (no. 85).

Scholarly Commentary


The drawing was created for Edward Moxon's illustrated edition of Tennyson's Poems (1857), glossing Part IV of Tennyson's “The Lady of Shalott” (and in particular the last three lines of the poem). As with all of the drawings in the Moxon series, this one is remarkable for the wealth of detail it introduces into its small space. The engraving is placed at the end of the poem in Moxon's volume.

Textual History: Composition

Begun in November 1856, the engraving was ready for DGR in December. He was not happy with the outcome so he redrew the design in January 1857 (see Fredeman, Correspondence 56. 52, 54 and 57. 8, 12, 15). Dalziel was the engraver though DGR was unhappy with his work and wanted Linton instead.


The location of DGR's finished design is not known. The Birmingham drawing is the most elaborate of the two surviving sketches.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s85.raw.xml