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The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: A Facsimile in Full Color (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) Paperback – Facsimile, September 1, 1994

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Once regarded as a brilliant eccentric whose works skirted the outer fringes of English art and literature, William Blake (1757–1827) is today recognized as a major poet, a profound thinker, and one of the most original and exciting English artists. Nowhere is his glorious poetic and pictorial legacy more evident than in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, which many consider his most inspired and original work.
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is both a humorous satire on religion and morality and a work that concisely expresses Blake's essential wisdom and philosophy, much of it revealed in the 70 aphorisms of his "Proverbs of Hell." This beautiful edition, reproduced from a rare facsimile, invites readers to enjoy the rich character of Blake's own hand-printed text along with his deeply stirring illustrations, reproduced on 27 full-color plates. A typeset transcription of the text is included.
Dover (1994) republication of plates from a facsimile of the 1794 edition published by Trianon Press, Jura, France, 1960.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Fine Art, History of Art
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; unknown edition (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486281221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486281223
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If a reader should stumble across this little book of poetry and visual art he ought to be warned that contemporaries considered the author insane because they could not understand him. The reason can be found in the suffusion of his works by his regular discourse with spirit or call it higher dimensions of consciousness, and, therefore, cannot be fully understood by everyday consciousness. His works are full of symbolism and hidden meanings (whole books have been written just to explain the symbolism). For instance the title suggests the solution of duality which obviously is a difficult to grasp esoteric concept. Even some of the easy to comprehend and insightful gems could be understood as just a ploy to attract the reader and in a way saying `there is more, keep digging'. It also appears that the visual content is more than an adornment and more likely to be an integral part of the book, simply because certain thoughts cannot be expressed in words but can still be expressed in images.

This is certainly a book of treasurers, however, some are hidden very deep.
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The illuminations accompanying Blake's poetry should be considered necessary to the reading of his poems. The illuminations are beautiful, descriptive, obviously terribly time consuming and should not be counted as something separate from the words. That said, sometimes it is difficult to read the poems on the illuminations, as they were meant to be read. This book provides the complete illuminations followed by the poems sans illumination, for ease of reading. Also, the price is of course outstanding, as illuminated versions of Blake's poetry can get quite pricey.
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Peter Ackroyd's biography, Blake, renewed my interest in Blake's graphic work. This small copy of Blake' work is intriguing and unintimidating,given that it is short and exquisitely designed from a graphic standpoint. In short, it's accessible. An inexpensive taste test, you might say. I bought two copies just to share with friends.
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This is a disgusting product. You are ordering a Facsimile of a handwritten work based on crafted plates. You receive a booklet of pictures of the plates. Ideally, this is what you want to receive. But, Not only is the book incredibly small but the pictures are indentured around the edges making them even smaller. The text is practically unreadable serving this book as useless. Whoever decided to produce this copy did it as a joke and should be out of business. Ordering a facsimile of this book would be to receive a legible print of the pictured plates with all their detail but all you will receive is a pocket book copy that only could serve as food for your next book burning party. Thanks for nothing, publisher.
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I have enough background now to think I understand the major controversies facing the English when William Blake wrote this book. I still find some lines shocking. Plate 21 picks on Swedenborg for boasting "that what he writes is new." As Blake pointed out: "he shews the folly of churches and exposes hypocrites, till he imagines that all are religious, & himself the single one that ever broke a net." Social systems that rely on doctrines don't have much staying power in a world in which the future keeps getting snatched away from those with superficial opinions. If this book is frightening for some, it has stood the test of time since 1794 and might last longer than what we think of it.
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See my remarks about this and the Urizen facsimile. It might be better to have separate blow ups of the individual drawings on each page than to include the fuzzy pictures of the printed words or captions.
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William Blake is a humorous satirical writer. His Proverbs of Hell is widely favored and I completely understand why it is so. The 70 axioms under the Proverbs of Hell are both humorous and good principals to hold. Many of these axioms are "quotable" and I've found myself quoting one here and there throughout my day.
I highly recommend this book to anyone! It comes with pictures of the original copper plates the book was printed on but also only has the text at the end.
Takes 30 minutes tops to read.
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Thought this was going to be a larger book but turns out it looks like some instructions that came with a blender. Very Very small with small handwritten text. I struggle the whole time reading Blake's handwriting and nearly throw it away. Wasn't until after I finished it I found that it is also typed in a very readable font in the back. FML, just so you know, printed text in the back.
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