Gallery Talk: Tragic Literary Heroines



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“I loved you, and my love had no return, / And therefore my true love has been my death.” These are the last words of the beautiful maiden Elaine, who dies for the unrequited love of Lancelot in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King. Victorian painters and sculptors were drawn to these tragic literary heroines, as they could represent ideals of beautiful, virtuous, silent women. Join Woman’s Board Fellow Alice Boone in looking deeper at these paintings and sculptures, to see if we might detect some complex messages from these figures.

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