Idylls of the King

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Gustave Dore, Unknown


Dore created many illustrations for The Idylls of the King, a set of twelve poems by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The poems retell the story of King Arthur and his knights, the rise and fall of his kingdom, and his love for Guinevere, and her subsequent betrayal of him. Tennyson’s retelling of the Arthur legends was a commentary on the Victorian Era of the times in which he lived, and it was a very popular literary theme during Dore’s lifetime. The cycle of narrative poems were published during Dore’s lifetime, beginning in 1856, the last one being published in 1885, two years after his death. As such, his illustrations of the poems were one of his last works before his death.

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