Near the Chapel of St. Bride
Photographer: Ogle, Thomas
Medium: Photographic print
“Benledi saw the Cross of Fire,
It glanced like lightning up Strath-Ire.
O’er dale and hill the summons flew,
Nor rest nor pause young Angus knew;
The tear that gathered in his eye
He left the mountain-breeze to dry;
Until, where Teith’s young waters roll
Betwixt him and a wooded knoll
That graced the sable strath with green,
The chapel of Saint Bride was seen.”
Photograph of a valley near St Bride’s Chapel in the Scottish Highlands. This is one of 13 evocative landscape photographs by Thomas Ogle illustrating an 1863 edition of Sir Walter Scott’s epic poem ‘The Lady of the Lake’. It accompanies a passage describing the valiant journey of the orphan Angus, who travels through the mountains with a burning cross to summon Highland warriors to do battle with the King of Scotland, James V. At the chapel of St Bride, a wedding has just taken place between Norman, heir of Amandave, and Mary of Trombea. Angus calls on Norman to join the Clan Alpine cause and it is with bittersweet emotion that he leaves his bride.
Scott (1771-1832) was the author of immensely popular historical novels and poetry. Their combination of history, chivalry and romance was especially beloved by readers of the Victorian era. ‘The Lady of the Lake’ (1810) was the third of his long narrative poems inspired by the landscape and legends of Scotland, and is set in and around the beautiful and dramatic scenery of the mountains, glens, lakes and forests of Perthshire and Stirling. The great success of the poem made Loch Katrine and the Trossachs a fashionable destination for 19th-century sightseers.