Lear's plan to illustrate Tennyson's poems was finalised in the series of 200 monochrome drawings described by Lear as 'Eggs' of which this is number 64. The 'Eggs' are first mentioned in 1881 but seem mainly to have been executed between November 1884 and March 1885 (see Pitman, op. cit, pp. 29-31).
All the 'Eggs' were originally inscribed below the drawing itself with a number, a quotation from the appropriate Tennyson poem, and the title. As shown in the reproduction in Pitman, loc. cit., and transcribed in the 1988 sale catalogue, the inscription on this example, now trimmed, read: '64/I will see before I die/The Palms and Temples of the South./('You ask me why &c &c.')/Palnupa Palms./Bengal. India'. The lines quoted are the closing two lines of Tennyson's early patriotic poem beginning 'You ask me, why, though ill at ease ... ' of c. 1833.
On 8 February 1874 Lear noted in his journal, 'Off in train for Arrah at 8.15AM. Very bright & beautiful morning. Those fan Palms! towering above all things, - infinitely spotting the plain, & seeming like specks against the pale hills'