Milton a Poem, and the Final Illuminated Works: The Ghost of Abel, On Homers Poetry, [and] On Virgil, Laoco÷n
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 Laocon, The Ghost of Abel, and On Homer's Poetry. The Illuminated Books of William Blake will be completed by the publication of a fifth volume, containing six more books, early in 1994.David Bindman is Durning-Lawrence Professor of the History of Art at University College, London. Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi are Professors of English at, respectively, University of Rochester, University of California at Riverside, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.From reviews of Jerusalem and Songs of Innocence and of Experience: "[Blake's] illuminated books, parables of earthly life, were peopled with fanciful creatures drawn from an elaborate invented mythology. Blake published theseworks 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
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