THE LEGEND OF GOODE WIMMEN

Alceste

The Legend of Goode Wimmen is a vision, written by Chaucer at the command of the God of Love, in penance for defaming women in Troilus and Criseyde and The romaunt of the rose. It tells the story of Amor’s saints’, women who were good according to the standards of the Religion of Love. They were all heroines of classical antiquity who suffered or died out of devotion to their lovers, In the legend Amor appears to the sleeping Chaucer:
And by the hande he held the noble queen, Corounded with whyte, & clothed al in grene…Her name was Alceste the debonayre…..

A L C E S T E
From original hand-painted tiles in the William Morris Gallery collection

Designed by Sir Edward Coley BURNE-JONES Bt (1833-1898) and painted by Lucy FAULKNER ORRINSMITH (1839-1910) for Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company.

Alceste was part of a tiled fireplace in the hall at Sandroyd. Designed by Philip Webb two years after commencing work on Red House. Sandroyd became the home of artist Spencer Stanhope one of the Morris circle. Between 1892 - 1894 Webb designed Standen for London solicitor James Beale. Webb and Morris formed an important part of the Arts and Craft Movement founding the society for the protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877.