William Blake Essay example

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William Blake William Blake was born in 1757, the third son of a London hosier. Blake lived in or near to London, a city which dominates much of his work, whether as the nightmare 'London' of the Songs of Experience, or the London which Blake saw as the 'New Jerusalem', the kingdom of God on earth. As the son of a hosier, a generally lower middle class occupation in late eighteenth century London, he was brought up in a poor household, a preparation for the relative poverty in which he would live for most of his life. He also received little formal schooling, which is all the more remarkable given both the depth and range of his reading of the Bible, of Milton and Greek and Latin classic literature, evident throughout his …show more content…

From 1779 he was employed as an engraver for a local Bookseller, and Blake continued to earn an often precarious living from contracted engraving until, with the help of his friend John Flaxman (1755-1826), he was able to set up his own engraving business at 27 Broad Street, which proved not to be a successful enterprise. It is from this point, 1784, that Blake's career as an engraver-poet-prophet began in earnest. Working with the help of his dedicated wife Catherine Boucher (the daughter of a market gardener, whom he married in 1782), Blake divided his time between composing and engraving illustrated poetry, and eking out a precarious living as a contract engraver. His first works in illustrated painting - All Religions Are One and There is No Natural Religion (1788) - followed on from the satirical verse of An Island in the Moon (1784-5), but it was in 1789, the year of the French Revolution and the Storming of the Bastille, that saw Blake's early masterpieces, The Book of Thel and Songs of Innocence. Between 1789 and 1800, when the Blake's moved to Felpham, Blake was ferociously active, composing The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-93), The French Revolution (1791), America: A Prophecy (1793), Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793), The Book of Urizen (1794), the Songs of Experience (1793-4), Europe: A

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