Julia Margaret Cameron’s illustrations to The May Queen by Alfred Tennyson, 1875.
These three photographs are part of Illustrations to Tennyson’s Idylls of the King and Other Poems, Vol. 2. While all the illustrations in the first volume are to Idylls of the King, the second volume includes illustrations to other Tennyson Poems such as The May Queen, The Princess, Mariana, and Maud, as well as four more illustrations to Idylls of the King.
The May Queen is portrayed by a woman named Emily Peacock, and the man in the second photograph is in fact Alfred Tennyson’s youngest son, Lionel.
The text below each photograph is a facsimile of Cameron’s handwriting. The photographs are also accompanied by a handwritten excerpt of the poem on facing pages. The above text reads:
"For I’m to be queen o’ the May Mother"
"I’m to be queen o’ the May"
"He though of that sharp look mother I gave him yesterday
They call me cruel hearted I care not what they say”
"So now I think my time is near. I trust it is. I know"
"The blessed music went that way my soul will have to go"