Lady of Shalott The

Lady of Shalott The

by Alfred Lord Tennyson, Genevieve Cote
     
 

The Lady of Shalott is the third book in Visions in Poetry, an award-winning series of classic poems illustrated by outstanding contemporary artists in stunning hardcover editions.

Tennyson's beautiful and enigmatic poem of unrequited love, set in Arthurian England, has enthralled artists for well over a century. With her luminous illustrations,

Overview

The Lady of Shalott is the third book in Visions in Poetry, an award-winning series of classic poems illustrated by outstanding contemporary artists in stunning hardcover editions.

Tennyson's beautiful and enigmatic poem of unrequited love, set in Arthurian England, has enthralled artists for well over a century. With her luminous illustrations, Geneviève Côté weaves a refreshingly modern interpretation of this beloved poem —- one that will enchant readers of all ages.

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 The beauty and mystery of Tennyson's poem are reflected in the black-and-white, simple line and wash drawings of this master British illustrator. Through fluid, delicate line, readers see the causeway path to Shalott streaming with villagers and carters; passing knights; reapers in moonlit fields. Then the enigmatic lady is shown, as is her bolting outside after the dazzling Lancelot has passed in her mirror. The stormy skies at nightfall and the wind streaming her hair are wonderfully felt. The illustrations have a muted earthiness that helps place the pictured events in the realm of fancy; the unknowing Lancelot's few words of sympathy add the grace note to the close, where Keeping's cluster of knights' faces seem more human than traditionally heroic. The endpapers view the lady from above, lying in the boat as ``singing in her song she died.'' Several typos mar the text, but where a single illustrated poem can be used, this is a good if stark production. Ruth M. McConnell, San Antonio Public Library, Tex.
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.

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 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Geneviève Côté is a Montreal artist whose illustrations have graced the pages of publications such as the New York Times and the Boston Globe. Her books have received three nominations for the Governor General's Award for Illustration, one of which went on to win, and she has also won the the Elisabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award.

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