Published in 1832 by Alfred Lord Tennyson, "The Lady of Shalott" is based on a figure that pre-dates the thirteenth century and is found in Arthurian legends. Dreamboat Annie (of Green Gables fame) gives us a wonderfully heartfelt and pleasantly comedic re-enactment of the Lady's story.
"The fairy Lady of Shalott" lives under an unknown curse in one of four towers overlooking a river flowing along the roadside leading to Camelot. She is locked away and out of touch with the outside world for reasons unknown.
As she weaves at her loom, her gaze of what lies outside is limited to what she can see over her shoulder by way of a mirror reflection through her window. One day she sees the colorful and decorated knight Lancelot ride by with bells on, singing. As he "flashe'd into the crystal mirror," she is smitten. Taking the unknown curse on herself the Lady abandons her loom, leaves her tower and sets off to find the man who captured her heart.
Finding a boat, she carves her name in the side and sets herself adrift to Camelot to find her knight--or die trying. Her body is found adrift with a note on her chest--the curse is broken at last.
Speculation and discussion is high over the meaning of this simple four stanza ballad. Whatever the meaning, the scenes are beautifully inspiring as artists have dedicated years of their lives painting their interpretations. And as if under an unknown curse, few died before finishing their work, just as the Lady passes before landing in Camelot.
Yes, "The Lady Of Shalott" is not a book, but "Anne of Green Gables" is and Anne played The Lady once. And I highly favor "Dreamboat Annie" too. So there.