The Lady of the Lake
- Scott, Walter

Poets Featured with External Resources

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Commentary

These first photopoetic book to feature the work of a single author, Scott’s The Lady of the Lake is an important monument of early photopoetic history while also testifying to the diverse range of literary productions and paraphernalia which helped confirm Scott’s posthumous reputation both in the U.S. and Britain. Scott’s photopoetry had an important role in boosting Scotland’s tourist industry, and provided commercial photographers with a happy hunting ground to tie their fledgling activities to more traditional and respected literary pursuits.

Many of the earliest photopoetic books have a strong nostalgic quality. This is due in part to the fact that the books served partly as memorials to their authors, who in most cases were already dead. In The Lady of the Lake, a photograph of Scott’s grave by George Washington Wilson precedes the poem.

The remainder, all by Thomas Ogle, display diverse photographic subjects – and challenging ones, given the still relative infancy of photographic technology – including animals and water – and many attempt in some ways to tame the rugged Scottish countryside by framing in accordance with picturesque principles. This is reflected in the captions, which direct the reader to the specific poetic image being photographed.

Photographs: ‘Scott’s Tomb at Dryburgh,’ frontispiece; ‘Brig of Turk,’ p.6; ‘Ellen’s Isle,’ p.15; ‘Loch Katrine,’ p.36; ‘Glenfinlas,’ p.61; ‘Lanrick Mead,’ p.85; ‘Near the Chapel of St. Bride,’ p.92; ‘Beal-Nam-Bo; the Pass of the Cattle,’ p.100; ‘Torrent by the Hero’s Targe,’ p.111; ‘The Trossach’s Dell,’ p.127; ‘Benledi,’ p.143; ‘Coilantogle’s Ford,’ p.154; ‘Loch Achray and Benvenue,’ p.194; ‘Benvenue and Loch Katrine,’ p.200.

[these can all be found on the British Library’s ‘Early Photographically Illustrated Books’ exhibition online: http://gallery.bl.uk/viewall/default.aspx?e=Early%20Photographically%20Illustrated%20Books]

Book Details

Author: Scott, Walter
Title: The Lady of the Lake
Publication Year: 1863
Poets Featured: Scott, Walter
Photographers Featured: Ogle, Thomas; Wilson, George Washington
Photographic process: Albumen prints

This book can be found in the University of St Andrews Library catalogue HERE

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