This drawing was engraved by John Thompson for the Moxon edition of Tennyson's poems (1857, p. 219). In the poem, the heroine's cousin William refuses his father's wishes for him to marry Dora. Instead, he weds a labourer's daughter, Mary, who bears him a son. Only after William's death is Dora able to soften the old man's heart: Millais' design shows her comforting William's father as he is reconciled with his daughter-in-law and grandson. Millais rarely inscribed his preparatory drawings so it was unusual that he both signed and inscribed this particular one. However, Millais donated this drawing to the Manchester Cotton Famine Fund which could explain why he chose to identify himself with this particular piece.

  • Purchased and presented by subscribers, 1906.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist John Everett Millais -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
Dora (wash)
- bottom centre Handwritten -
Title bottom centre Handwritten -


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Artists of Victoria's England
38 Cummer Gallery of Art, Jacksonville, Florida 1965-02-02 - 1965-03-14
Tennyson (1809-1892): A Centenary Celebration
255 Dove Cottage, Grasmere (Wordsworth Trust) 1992-03-01 - 1992-09-01
255 Usher Art Gallery, Lincoln 1992-03-01 - 1992-09-01
Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham Collection, England.
41 Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington 1995-03-09 - 1995-05-07
41 The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio 1995-05-27 - 1665-07-16
41 Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington 1995-08-11 - 1995-10-15
41 The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas 1995-11-04 - 1996-01-02
41 High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia 1996-01-23 - 1996-04-10
41 Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, England 1996-05-25 - 1996-09-29
John Everett Millais: Illustrator and Narrator
10 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 2004-10-16 - 2005-01-16
10 Leighton House, London 2005-02-18 - 2005-04-29


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Poems [Moxon Tennyson]
Lord Alfred Tennyson 1857 Edward Moxon, London p. 219.
City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Catalogue of the Permanent Collection of Drawings
A E Whitley 1939 Bemrose & Sons, Ltd, Derby p. 271.
Pre-Raphaelite Drawings
1947 Roland, Browse & Delbanco, London p. 13
Tennyson (1809-1892): A Centenary Celebration
Professor Robert Woof 1992 The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere cat. no. 255
Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham Collection, England
Stephen Wildman 1995 Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia p. 160.
John Everett Millais: Illustrator and Narrator
Paul Goldman 2004 Lund Humphries, Aldershot cat. no. 10 / B97

Associated people

Name Type
Lord Alfred Tennyson Author

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