The inspiration for the present work by Westmacott, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1877, and with which Art Journal reporters were "much pleased", is taken directly from Tennyson's idyll Guinevere, published in 1859. Here, the young queen is confronted by her husband after Mordred, his malicious illegitimate son, informs him of his wife's illicit affair with Lancelot, his favourite knight. His wrath spent, Arthur's demeanour is now one of melancholy as he confesses he has little desire to live: "Thou hast spoilt the purpose of my life" (1.450). However, despite declaring he cannot take Guinevere back: "I leave thee woman to thy shame" (1.508), Arthur forgives Guinevere, symbolised here by his calming hands. Although the Victorian story preserves the traditional account of Guinevere's adultery and it's consequences, it judges her role by a different ethical standard and through her disdain for her vows and responsibilities charges her for sparking the flames of conflict and betrayal that engulfed Arthur's kingdom. Moreover, in Arthur's singular action of forgiveness, proving that he is as true a husband as she is false a wife, the Victorians saw that his commitment to work and marriage mirrored their own. The Arthurian legend experienced an unprecedented revival during the Victorian era and not least provided a huge amount of source material for the Pre-Raphaelites, whose influence is clear in Westmacott's sculpture.