Sir Galahad and the Pale Nun

Dublin Core


Sir Galahad and the Pale Nun


Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), Art, Arthur, Arthurian, Arthurian legend, Arthurian romance, chivalric, chivalry, Galahad, gallantry, Holy Grail, Idylls of a King, illustration, knight, Le Morte d’Arthur, legend, Mabinogion, narrative poem, nostalgia, nun, piety, poem, purity, Sir Galahad, Sir Thomas Malory (1405-1471), Victorian revival


This photograph, taken by Julia Margaret Cameron in 1874, is held by the Art Gallery of South Australia. It depicts Sir Galahad, one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend, and a nun. The illegitimate son of Lancelot and Elaine of Corbenic, Galahad was raised in a convent under the care of the Abbess, his Great Aunt. He was one of only 3 Knights to see the Holy Grail, and is renowned in legend for his gallantry, his piety and his purity. He was a popular character in the Victorian revival of Arthurian myth, and these qualities were emphasised in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s 1842 poem ‘Sir Galahad’. This particular photograph appeared as Plate IX in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King and Other Poems, a collection of 12 narrative poems retelling the King Arthur legend published between 1856 and 1885. Tennyson’s version was based primarily on two well-known medieval texts: Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur and the Mabinogion.


Cameron, Julia Margaret


Art Gallery of South Australia




Art Gallery of South Australia


Albumen-silver photograph, 33.4 x 27.2 cm;

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