(Robin Hamlyn, Michael Phillips, Peter Ackroyd (Introduction), Marilyn Butler
Novelist and biographer Peter Ackroyd examines Blake the man, while Marilyn Butler sets Blake in the context of the political and social upheavals of his time. Other essays focus on how Blake's radical political views and innovative printmaking techniques combined in his wholly visionary art. With a full chronology and a glossary of Blake's mythology and characters, this book will be invaluable for Blake's many fans.
William Blake: The Complete Illuminated Books
(David Bindman (Introduction), William Blake, John Commander)
In his Illuminated Books, William Blake combined text and imagery on a single page in a way that had not been done since the Middle Ages. For Blake, religion and politics, intellect and emotion, mind and body were both unified and in conflict with each other: his work is expressive of his personal mythology, and his methods of conveying it were integral to its meaning. There is no comparison with reading books such as Jerusalem, America, and Songs of Innocence and of Experience in Blake's own medium, infused with his sublime and exhilarating colors. Tiny figures and forms dance among the lines of the text, flames appear to burn up the page, and dense passages of Biblical-sounding text are brought to a jarring halt by startling images of death, destruction, and liberation. Blake's hope that his books would obtain wide circulation was unfulfilled: some exist only in unique copies and none was printed in more than very small numbers. Now, for the first time, the plates from the William Blake Trust's Collected Edition have been brought together in a single volume, with transcripts of the texts and an introduction by the noted scholar David Bindman. 400 color illustrations.