The great vogue in Victorian times for matters Arthurian owes much to the poetry of Matthew Arnold and William Morris. Unlike Tennyson, however, neither of these poets is now remembered primarily for his Arthurian poems; as a result there is no modern anthology devoted to this area of their output. This is a major gap which the present volume seeks to rectify. Arnold's Tristram and Iseult
is the first modern English retelling of the Tristram legend, a melancholy interpretation of the theme, reflecting the poet's pessimism about his own age; Morris's different approach the rich sensuality of his The Defence of Guenevere
and other poems clearly reveals the allure that the middle ages held for the pre-Raphaelites.