An updated edition of this classic book, a thorough overview of William Blake’s life and work
Prophet, poet, painter, engraver – William Blake (1757–1827) was an artist of uniquely powerful imagination and far-reaching creative gifts. His work expresses the spiritual drama of the English national being, integrating poetry and visual art in a sustained work of visionary creativity unparalleled in English art history.
Revealing Blake to be far more than a revolutionary social radical, this classic study reshapes our understanding of the artist’s achievement. Kathleen Raine details the enriching effect of mystical, alchemical and gnostic philosophy on Blake’s art. She unravels the complex, deeply felt symbolism expressed in his paintings and prints, and describes the powerful impact of his reading of Dante, Milton and the Bible.
Raine’s compelling text guides the reader through the life and thought of this extraordinary artist. Fully alive to the uniqueness of Blake’s art – which has ‘a reality, a coherence, a climate’ all its own – she introduces famous work such as Jerusalem, Songs of Innocence and of Experience, The Four Zoas and The Book of Job, relating them to Blake’s world view and explaining their prophetic qualities, their fierce energy, and their central place in British Romantic art.
'A unique and valuable guide' - The Times
'Gracefully written and generously illustrated' - Times Literary Supplement
'A thing of joy. Warmly recommended' - Guardian
About the Author
Kathleen Raine wrote a number of books of poetry, and her Collected Poems appeared in 2000. Her other books include From Blake to a Vision (1979), Blake and the New Age (1979), The Human Face of God: William Blake and the Book of Job and four volumes of autobiography.