'King Arthur', c 1874.
© NMeM / Royal Photographic Society / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) illustrating Alfred Lord Tennyson's (1809-1892) Arthurian epic 'Idylls of the King', first published in 1859. The model for King Arthur is William Warder, a porter at Yarmouth ferry pier. Cameron's photographic portraits are considered among the finest in the early history of photography. She set up a private studio at her home at the age of 48, after her daughter gave her a camera, and she became expert at using the collodion wet-plate process. She used friends, servants and neighbours as subjects, including the scientists Charles Darwin and John Herschel, as well as Tennyson himself. She and Tennyson both lived at Freshwater on the Isle of Wight.