The Lady of Shalott
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The Lady of Shalott Resources
Tennyson first published this poem in 1833. In 1842, he released a revised version of the poem. We used the 1842 version, but if you want a peek at the earlier one, here it is.
There's a ton of info about "The Lady of Shalott" on the web. VictorianWeb.org is a good place to start, and they have especially good stuff about the relationship between this poem and the painters who were inspired by it.
This site is packed with information and images about Arthurian legend, which is really vast and complicated, but also really important for this poem.
A shorter version of the poem set to music by a Canadian singer who does a lot of Celtic stuff. It might be your style, or it might not, but it's definitely worth a look. As a bonus, it helped us to hear the rhythm of the poem.
There are a lot of really crummy "Lady of Shalott" videos out there – trust us, we looked. This one, on the other hand, is pretty good, a simple and elegant take on the poem.
Here's a reading of the poem by an English actress named Frances Jeater. See what you think of this one – we always think it's a good idea to listen to a few of these to get a feeling for the different choices a reader can make.
This has a gimmicky animated picture of Tennyson reading the poem. More importantly, though, it has a really classy English guy reading the poem.
The "Lady of Shalott" inspired a painting by John William Waterhouse that's just about as famous as the poem. If you've ever been to a college dorm, you've probably seen a poster of this hanging on someone's wall.
"The Lady of Shalott" was a really popular subject with Victorian painters. This painting shows the moment in the poem where the curse strikes the Lady of Shalott. If you look closely, you can see that her tapestry includes the Holy Grail, a huge part of Arthurian legend.
Here's another moment in the poem, showing the Lady bored and fed-up at her loom. Notice how different she looks in each painting – that's partly because the poem really says nothing about her physical appearance.