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  • Cited by 15
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
May 2006
Print publication year:
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Book description

Poet, painter, and engraver William Blake died in 1827 in obscure poverty with few admirers. The attention paid today to his remarkable poems, prints, and paintings would have astonished his contemporaries. Admired for his defiant, uncompromising creativity, he has become one of the most anthologized and studied writers in English and one of the most studied and collected British artists. His urge to cast words and images into masterpieces of revelation has left us with complex, forceful, extravagant, some times bizarre works of written and visual art that rank among the greatest challenges to plain understanding ever created. This Companion aims to provide guidance to Blake's work in fresh and readable introductions: biographical, literary, art historical, political, religious, and bibliographical. Together with a chronology, guides to further reading, and glossary of terms, they identify the key points of departure into Blake's multifarious world and work.


‘Like other volumes in the Cambridge Companions to Literature series, this collection of essays is designed to be useful for a broad academic audience. It maintains the normally high standards of editing, writing, and scholarship that characterize the series. Eaves provides the introduction, which discusses the difficulties, methods, and rewards of reading Blake’s poetical and pictorial works.’

T. Hoagwood - Texas A&M University

' … the present volume is uniformly excellent … admirable and reliable … we are enlightened, even inspired, by the ample contents of these deeply illuminating and reflective pages.'

Source: Reference Reviews

‘… the seasoned Blake scholar will find here an up-to-date and well-informed vade-mecum of current scholarly trends which can be put to good use in the classroom, and can also serve the purpose of a handy work of reference … succinct, erudite, and often enlightening … keen and stylishly written analysis … provides a veritable hitch-hiker’s guide to the galaxies that are opening up in Blake's writings, a guide which will stand the test of teaching Blake in more than the first decade of the new century.’

Source: BARS Bulletin & Review

'The Companion ensures Blake's continual success in teaching lessons in electric mystical thought, in bringing to mind issues of form, perception and creativity in poetic writing … this is a carefully edited volume offering new and valuable insights into Blake's life and circle as well as into his ways of producing a wide range of innovative techniques in the field of engraving and illustration …'.

Source: Anglia Zeitschrift für Englische Philologie

‘The Cambridge Companion is not for casual reference, but should make a very useful introduction for serious readers.‘

Source: Essays in Criticism

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