The Sailor’s Bride. Artist: Frederick Sandys. Engraver: J. Swain, 1861. Wood-engraving, 3¼ x 4 ¾ inches. Once a Week (13 April 1861): p.434. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

An illustration for a poem by Marian James, this image embodies a recurrent motif in Victorian culture – the figure of the lover who turns up too late, arriving once his beloved has passed away. This notion features on several occasions in the poetry of Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and W. Holman Hunt's The Pilgrim's Return depicts the same subject. The treatment by Sandys displays the usual psychological intensity, enhancing a type of scene that features throughout book illustration of the 1860s.

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Scanned image and caption by Simon Cooke. Text and formatting by Simon Cooke. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.

Last modified 18 July 2013