About the Author
William Blake (1757–1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language". His visual artistry has led one British art journalist to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". Although he lived in London his entire life except for three years spent in Felpham he produced a diverse and symbolically rich corpus, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God", or "Human existence itself". Considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, Blake is held in high regard by later critics for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterized as part of both the Romantic movement and "Pre-Romantic", for its large appearance in the 18th century. Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England, Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American revolutions, as well as by such thinkers as Jakob Böhme and Emanuel Swedenborg. Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake's work makes him difficult to classify. The 19th century scholar William Rossetti characterised Blake as a "glorious luminary," and as "a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors." Historian Peter Marshall has classified Blake as one of the forerunners of modern anarchism, along with Blake's contemporary William Godwin.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Both the student and connoisseur of the classics will enjoy this series of inexpensive audiobooks, each of which includes a Dover-Thrift edition of the text. The newcomer to classic poetry and prose, in particular, may experience in their spoken form an awakening to the beauty and power of these literary masters. It's hard to imagine a better introduction to William Blake's poetry than stage actors Brian Murray's and Suzanne Toren's audio rendition of SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE. Their alternating readings of Songs of Innocence vibrate with the reverence of Blake's vision of childhood as paradise lost; in Songs of Experience one fully senses Blake's later disillusion. The two books provide counterpoint to each other, an effect enhanced by the use of male and female readers. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.