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The Illuminated Books of William Blake, Volume 3:
The Early Illuminated Books
William Blake
Edited with introduction and commentaries by Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi
David Bindman, General Editor

Paperback | 1998 | This edition is out of print | ISBN: 9780691001470
Hardcover | 1993 | This edition is out of print | ISBN: 9780691033877

Reviews | Table of Contents

The core of William Blake's vision, his greatness as one of the British Romantics, is most fully expressed in his Illuminated Books, masterworks of art and text intertwined and mutually enriching. Made possible by recent advances in printing and reproduction technology, the publication of new editions of Jerusalem and Songs of Innocence and of Experience in 1991 was a major publishing event. Now these two volumes are followed by The Early Illuminated Books and Milton, A Poem. The books in both volumes are reproduced from the best available copies of Blake's originals and in faithfulness and accuracy match the acclaimed standards set by Jerusalem and Songs. These two volumes are uniform in format and binding with the first two volumes.

The Early Illuminated Books comprises All Religions Are One and There Is No Natural Religion; Thel; Marriage of Heaven and Hell; and Visions of the Daughters of Albion. Milton, A Poem, second only to Jerusalem in extent and ambition, is accompanied by Laocoön, The Ghost of Abel, and On Homer's Poetry.

Review:

"[Blake's] illuminated books, parables of earthly life, were peopled with fanciful creatures drawn from an elaborate invented mythology. Blake published these works himself, but his ambition to reach a wide audience was never realized. Now the William Blake Trust, in association with Princeton University Press, has initiated a five-volume facsimile series. . . . The first two volumes . . . are now available. Produced with meticulous care, each has a brief introduction. Each volume also contains exquisite reproductions of the original plates, a new transcription of Blake's text and scholarly but accessible plate-by-plate commentaries."--Andrea Barnet, The New York Times Book Review

"The color printing is exceptional."--Lewis Segal, The Los Angeles Times Book Review

"In every way this initial release is a triumph. The exquisite images and a lucid text of each volume endow not just Blake's work, but the relationships between word and image, with a crystalline clarity."--Eric Gibson, The Washington Times

"[These volumes] reproduce, plate by plate, Blake's hand-lettered verses and colored illustrations. . . . These illuminated books, masterpieces of the book-maker's art, answer critical questions, especially about the poet's late, recondite allegories. They remind the poetry scholar that his Blake was first a visual artist, indebted to Raphael and Michelangelo, and second a writer beholden to Spenser and Milton. . . ."--New Criterion

Table of Contents:

PREFACE by David Bindman, General Editor 7
FOREWORD 8
INTRODUCTION 9
A NOTE ON TEXTS AND VARIANTS 16
CITATIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS 18
ALL RELIGIONS ARE ONE and THERE IS NO NATURAL RELIGION
Introduction 21
Text and Reproduction 43
Supplementary Illustrations 68
THE BOOK OF THEL
Introduction 71
Text and Reproduction 87
Supplementary Illustrations 102
Notes to Blake's Text 108
THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL
Introduction 113
Text and Reproduction 141
Supplementary Illustrations 194
Notes to Blake's Text 208
VISIONS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF ALBION
Introduction 225
Text and Reproduction 243
Supplementary Illustrations 264
Notes to Blake's Text 275
WORKS CITED 279

Series:

  • Blake
    David Bindman, General Editor

Subject Areas:

Published in association with the William Blake Trust

Prices subject to change without notice

File created: 3/28/2014

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