William Morris (1834-1896) was influential in the "medieval revival" in 19th-century Britain, along with John Ruskin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones, among others. Upon his marriage to Jane Burden (1859), Morris commissioned the building of the "Red House" in Bexleyheath and set to furnishing the house with objects embodying medieval design and depicting medieval themes, heroes and heroines. This is one of a series of panels inspired by Chaucer's The Legend of Good Women, although, as Linda Parry writes: "the characters do not correspond to those listed and it is likely that Morris himself confidently selected his own heroines. Chaucer is the main influence, however, as the daisy, which is much admired in the prologue to Chaucer's poem, is evident in the background and foreground of the three finished panels" (13).*
Parry, Linda. William Morris Textiles. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1983.
Legend of Dido Main Page
Legend of Dido - Middle English version
Legend of Dido - modernized version