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William Blake The Man   By:

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WILLIAM BLAKE: THE MAN

All Rights Reserved

[Illustration: THE BURIAL OF MOSES.

Reproduced by kind permission of Mr Sydney Morse. ]

WILLIAM BLAKE THE MAN

BY CHARLES GARDNER

AUTHOR OF "VISION AND VESTURE," "THE REDEMPTION OF RELIGION," ETC.

"The men that were with me saw not the vision" DANIEL

LONDON: J. M. DENT & SONS LIMITED NEW YORK: E. P. DUTTON & CO. MCMXIX

To MONICA

Preface

This book is an attempt to trace the mental and spiritual growth of William Blake as disclosed in his works. After meditating on these for some years an image of the man has risen in my mind. This I have tried to present with the aid of such biographical details as are to be found in Gilchrist's Life . My warm thanks are due to Mr and Mrs Sydney Morse for permission to reproduce their beautiful Prayer of the Infant Jesus , and The Burial of Moses . The photographs were taken by Mr Albert Hester. Also I must thank Mr J. M. Dent for the two designs from an original and invaluable Job series in his possession. The rest of the illustrations are from the Print Room of the British Museum.

C. G.

CONTENTS

PAGE

TITLE PAGE 3

DEDICATION 5

PREFACE 7

CONTENTS 9

ILLUSTRATIONS 10

CHAPTER

I. CHILDHOOD AND APPRENTICESHIP 11

II. COMING OF AGE AND MARRIAGE 21

III. THE BLUE STOCKINGS 26

IV. EARLY MARRIED LIFE AND EARLY WORK 37

V. WESLEY, WHITEFIELD, LAVATER, AND SWEDENBORG 46

VI. THE REBELS 81

VII. ACTION AND REACTION 102

VIII. WILLIAM HAYLEY 114

IX. THE BIG PROPHETIC BOOKS 131

X. CROMEK, SIR JOSHUA, STOTHARD, AND CHAUCER 153

XI. THE SUPREME VISION 165

XII. DECLINING YEARS AND DEATH 169

XIII. EPILOGUE 189

INDEX 195

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

THE BURIAL OF MOSES Frontispiece

FACING PAGE

GLAD DAY 24

LAVATER 50

THE ANCIENT OF DAYS 100

URIZEN IN CHAINS 106

LOS 108

MIRTH AND HER COMPANIONS 124

ALBION 144

THE PRAYER OF THE INFANT JESUS 166

JOB SERIES, DESIGN V 182

JOB SERIES, DESIGN XIV 184

FROM DANTE SERIES 186

WILLIAM BLAKE: THE MAN

CHAPTER I

CHILDHOOD AND APPRENTICESHIP

William Blake was born on November 28th, 1757, at 28 Broad Street, Carnaby Market, Golden Square.

To day a large house stands in Broad Street numbered 28, to which is attached a blue disk announcing that William Blake, Poet and Artist, was born there. The house looks old and shabby, and may well have stood a hundred years; but on inquiry one finds that it is a recent erection, and that of Blake's actual house not one stone has been left upon another. One walks through Broad Street and its neighbouring streets hoping to see at least one group of buildings as Blake saw them... Continue reading book >>




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