The Lady of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott

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by Alfred Lord Tennyson, Genevieve Cote
     
 

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The third book in the Visions in Poetry series explores Tennyson's enigmatic poem of unrequited love, luminously illustrated by Genevi?ve C?t?.See more details below

Overview

The third book in the Visions in Poetry series explores Tennyson's enigmatic poem of unrequited love, luminously illustrated by Genevi?ve C?t?.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Though the poem traditionally takes us on a woman’s tragic journey toward death, the artist sees it as a happy journey toward independence.

Fans will be born of both Tennyson and Cote.

Cote’s quiet line-and-watercolor and pastel artwork opens up the story, preserving the romance and mystery.

[L]impid and lovely.

A classic poem, in an unconventional but sensitive and suitable setting.

Children's Literature
Tennyson's poem, first published in 1832, marked the beginning of his fascination with the Arthurian legends and his vast influence on writers and painters of the Victorian era. Inspired by a 14th-century Italian novella, The Lady of Shalott is distinguished by its luxurious images, its skillful use of rhyme, and its rhythmic, almost hypnotic repetition of the words "Shalott" and "Camelot." Critics have speculated that the poet was commenting on the circumscribed lives of women of his day, or perhaps on the fate of the isolated artist, or even on the passage from life to death. Canadian artist Cote has used wispy, crayon-like lines, sky blues and warm browns to delineate the maiden and the sights she glimpses in her mirror, with stark black dramatizing Lancelot's appearance, the cracking of the mirror, and the dark river on which the lady floats in a sort of chrysalis, freed as a butterfly by death. What can it mean to young adults of today? Knights wearing leather coats and driving Edwardian motorcars may spark discussion on the relevance of the poem to Tennyson's own time; sinister reapers in sunglasses and the casual acceptance of the lady's death may suggest a link with ours. For the connection with women, artists, and death, interested teens might like to read A Circle of Sisters by Judith Flanders and look at some Pre-Raphaelite depictions of Arthurian characters. Or they might want just to enjoy its elegant and ethereal evocation of temps passe, whether Arthur's or Tennyson's. 2005, KCP Poetry/Kids Can, Ages 13 up.
—Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-This lyrical poem, written nearly 200 years ago, has been given new life through Cote's intelligent artistry. Tennyson's strict stanzas move back and forth in dialogue with the playful, stylized, mixed-media illustrations. The poem's symbolism has been interpreted variously as a work about the isolation of the artist, the inevitability of death, and unrequited love. The art offers room for readers to wander and wonder within the realm of suggestion. Cote's illustrations allow the poem to speak its full range; however, the theme of love is strongly suggested by the depiction of a couple on the opening page glancing over the water to the island where the Lady of Shalott resides alone. Admirably, the art does not depict the Lady of Shalott as a tragic figure; after she declares that she is `"half sick of shadows,"' she takes flight from the world of mirrored images as if a butterfly from a chrysalis. The artist's reapers are sinister and humorous; their dark glasses situate them in the modern era. There are industrialized urban centers, bridges, and automobiles. Fans will be born of both Tennyson and Cote. Begin the enchantment early: introduce this volume to students, middle school and up.-Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Cote's illustrations catch the haunting tone of Tennyson's Arthurian lyric, while adding several original touches. Weaving "a magic web of colours gay," the Lady lives in happy isolation in a tower until she catches a glimpse of Lancelot-activating a curse that sends her lifeless body drifting downriver to Camelot. In the sketchy, modernist art, medieval passersby mix with more contemporary ones on the road below Shalott, traveling toward Camelot's high-rise skyline by horse or automobile. And Lancelot cuts a stylish figure, wearing a long duster rather than armor, and goggles pushed up on a plumed hat. Cote also adds a brighter ending: After Lancelot's closing observation that, even in death, "she has a lovely face," a small figure rises on butterfly wings over the city. A classic poem, in an unconventional but sensitive and suitable setting. Includes long notes on poem and illustrator. (Poetry. 10-15)
Washington Post
Though the poem traditionally takes us on a woman’s tragic journey toward death, the artist sees it as a happy journey toward independence.
Booklist
Cote’s quiet line-and-watercolor and pastel artwork opens up the story, preserving the romance and mystery.
The Globe and Mail
[Limpid and lovely.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554534579
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
09/28/2009
Series:
Visions in Poetry Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
10 - 15 Years

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