William Blake

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  • William Blake(1757-1827)
    • Personal Life
      • Born London 1757
        • Father saw artistic talent- sent him to drawing school
          • worked as, engraver, illustrator & drawing teacher
          • Wrote poetry in this time
            • first published collection 'poetical Sketches'-1783
              • 'songs of experience'- 1793
              • 'songs of innocence'- 1789
                • combined edition 'songs of innocence and experience'- 1793
                  • shows the two contrary states of the human soul.
            • published almost all work himself
              • poems, illistrations and dectotive images etched by hand into copper plates
                • plates inked to make prints colored with paint
                  • expensive and labor-intensive production
                    • limited circulation of blake's work
      • Pronounced failure
        • resentment and anxiety about public apathy towards his work
          • financial failure 1809
            • depression and withdrew into obscurity
              • only in the 20th century did people start to appreciate his work
    • political radicalism intensified during years leading to french revolution
      • begun 7-book poem about revolution
        • book either destroyed or incomplete
          • only first book survives
      • disproved of enlightenment rationalism, of institutionalized religion and the tradition of mirage in its conventional, legal and social form.
    • 1790's & after
      • poetic voice shift from lyric to prophetic mode
        • series of long prophetic books including 'Milton' & 'jerusalem'
        • books linked with intricate mythology and symbolism of blake's own creation


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