Peter Ackroyd discloses the true nature of Blake's life and art. He traces his progression from early childhood in a Dissenting household, through his apprenticeship as an engraver and his studies at the newly formed Royal Academy Schools, to his full maturity when he produced the masterpieces upon which his reputation rests - works such as Jerusalem, Milton and Songs of Innocence and of Experience, works that were as neglected during his lifetime as they are celebrated today. But we also see Blake in the context of his period; we see him caught up in the Gordon Riots, excited by the French Revolution, being tried for sedition during the Napoleonic wars, attracted to various forms of spiritual radicalism and sexual magic. This is the first biography to reveal the true affinities between Blake's art and his poetry; in the magnificent biographical narrative we see Blake as a Cockney visionary and a London tradesman, as a prophet and an artisan.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - the.ken.petersen - LibraryThing
A hundred pages into this book, I was questioning my total acceptance that anything written by Peter Ackroyd would be superb. By the time that I reached the end, I was sad to be leaving an old friend ... Read full review
BLAKE: A BiographyUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
Ackroyd's biography of William Blake represents an achievement of composite method fully in the poet's own spirit—it's a work so sensitive to its subject, it seems to have conjured him from the ... Read full review
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O why was I bom with a different face?
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