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May Prinsep as Christabel. Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1866.

  • Cameron, Julia Margaret, 1815-1879.
Date
1866
Reference
14081i
  • Pictures
  • Online

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view May Prinsep as Christabel. Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1866.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
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Credit: May Prinsep as Christabel. Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1866. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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About this work

Description

"'Yea, she doth smile, and she doth weep, / Like a youthful hermitess, / Beauteous in a wilderness.'--Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Coleridge's unfinished poem "Christabel" (1816) tells the story of a young woman debased by sorcery. A dark poem, full of rolling fog and lesbian innuendo, "Christabel" was the kind of tale that appealed to the Victorian palate--a soup of sexual transgression and moral repair. Cameron rarely made portraits of women; rather, when she photographed them, they appeared as representations of some biblical, mythological, or literary figure. Cameron's niece, May Prinsep, who would later marry Hallam Tennyson, son of the poet laureate, appears here as the ethereal Christabel before her corruption." – online catalogue of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Publication/Creation

1866

Physical description

1 photograph : photoprint, albumen

References note

Julian Cox et al., Julia Margaret Cameron: the complete photographs, London 2003, no. 396, p. 243 (this print not listed)

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 14081i


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