Editions of Blake's poetry which as an artist and printer he frequently engraved and published himself most often fail to reproduce his integral illustrations, or do so in poor enough quality as to negate the effort. This Complete edition from the Blake Trust, published last year in a Thames and Hudson hardback edition that is now out of print, should replace the b&w-only Dover edition (but not David V. Erdman's commentary therein, or his reading text The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake) for any reader. The 366 crisp color and 30 b&w reproductions here, culled from the scholarly Princeton University Press six-volume annotated set, are little short of a revelation, giving us Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience, America, Milton, Jerusalem and the rest of the Blake canon in a form acceptably close, as Binder's introduction makes clear, to the way Blake wanted us to see them. Many of these works are currently hanging in a special Blake exhibition the largest ever at the Met in New York, for which the Abrams book serves as an informative and revealing catalogue. Hamlyn, a senior curator at London's Tate (where the exhibition originated), and the University of York's Phillips present prints, drawings, paintings, selections from Blake's own illuminated books and other relevant materials, such as snapshots from Blake's marvelous editions of Edward Young's Night Thoughts and Thomas Gray's Poems. Introductory essays from novelist and biographer Peter Ackroyd (Blake; T.S. Eliot) and Marilyn Butler, rector of Oxford's Exeter College, synopsize Blake's life and times, while extensive "label copy" situates each work as presented. While the visual overview is useful and some of the detail shots of larger works are compelling, poetry readers who have to choose will take the Complete.
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This book makes a strong case that if you know Blake's poems you're getting only halfor rather none ofthe picture. -- The New York Times, Christopher Benfey, 3 December 2000 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
this large book has poorly reproduced images in pale, lifeless color. i cant recommend it.Published 4 months ago by will crow
Only complete book of Blake's artwork that I know of. Illustrations are small, but well done, and the book itself is very nicely done. It's a must for Blake lovers.Published 6 months ago by Fred Davis, Awakening Clarity Now
This compilation is beautiful, large, and exactly what you would hope it to be! I've had friends complain about the size of their reproductions making Blake's handwriting more... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brian Lowry
A gift for my daughter in law who loves it. Very complete and beautiful.Published 7 months ago by pj
Really wanted to love this but I just couldn't. It was like a book of photocopies of Blake's works. Some of the illustrations with handwritten words I couldn't really read and... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Melissa Munding
Blake's plates, text and pictures, are certainly reproduced as they are, the quality is good. But Blake's handwritten text is hardly readable, the pictures are blurred to varying... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Zikmu
Excellent book, great ilustrations; a must-have if you are interested in William Blake's illuminated poemsPublished 13 months ago by Nigroplus
Generally, I enjoy the art works printed by Dover Publishers. For Dore, Grosz, Hogarth, Piranesi there is none out there better. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Robert Duncanson