William Blake was born in London on November 28, 1757 to James and Catherine Blake. His father,

1600 WordsApr 23, 20197 Pages
William Blake was born in London on November 28, 1757 to James and Catherine Blake. His father, James was a hosier (seller of legwear) in London. Blake had four brothers, James, John, Richard and Robert; and a sister named Catherine (Harris 5). Blake got along best with his younger brother, Robert as they shared an interest in art (Clarke 1). As a young boy, Blake claimed to have had visions of God, spirits, prophets and angels. When he was four he is claimed to have seen God’s head in his window. In his most famous vision, he saw the prophet Ezekiel under a tree and a tree of angels when he was nine (“Early Years”). Though his parents believed he was lying, they took into consideration that their son was “different” and did not believe he…show more content…
In 1778 Blake attended the Royal Academy, but soon left after having disagreements about art with the school’s president Sir Joshua Reynolds (Merriman 2). In 1780 he was hired by Joseph Johnson. Johnson, a seller of “radical” texts, introduced Blake to such writers such as Joseph Priestley, William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft and Thomas Paine (Simkin 1). He illustrated Paine's The Rights of Man and Wollstonecraft's The Vindication of the Rights of Women. He also illustrated Mary Shelley’s Original Stories from Real Life in 1788 (“Marriage and early career”). In 1782 he met Catherine Boucher, the illiterate daughter of a market-gardener. Blake taught her how to read, write, engrave, and draw. Catherine ended up helping Blake with coloring, illustrations, engravings, and book binding (“Later Life and Career”). They had a very successful marriage where Catherine supported Blake in his work and believed in his genius. She also believed his visions of spirits and Blake even “helped her to experience visions, as he did” (“The Maturing Artist”). Blake would refer to her as his “sweet shadow of delight” (“Youth”). Blake’s first book of poetry was Poetical Sketches published in 1783 and paid for by a few of his friends (“Artist and Engraver”). In 1787 Blake’s brother Robert died, Blake claiming to recall his spirit “clapping its hands for joy”(“Poets”) . A year later Blake claimed that Robert appeared to him, teaching him a process of

More about William Blake was born in London on November 28, 1757 to James and Catherine Blake. His father,

Open Document