William Blake - Songs of Innocence and of Experience

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-12-12
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794) is William Blake's best-known work, containing such familiar poems as 'London', 'Sick Rose' and 'The Tyger'. Evolving over the author's lifetime, the collection was printed by Blake himself on his own press.

This Reader's Guide:

• explains the unique development of Songs as an illuminated book
• considers the earliest reactions to the text during Blake's lifetime, and his gathering posthumous reputation in the nineteenth century
• explores modern critical approaches and recent debates
• discusses key topics that have been of abiding interest to critics, including the relationship between text and image in Blake's 'composite art'.

Insightful and stimulating, this introductory guide is an invaluable resource for anyone who is seeking to navigate their way through the mass of criticism surrounding Blake's most widely-studied work.

Author Biography

Sarah Haggarty is University Lecturer in English and Fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge, UK.

Jon Mee is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of York, UK.

Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsList of Abbreviations

Introduction: 'Piping Down the Valleys Wild'
1. Producing 'Songs': 'In a Book that All May Read'
2. Blake's Contemporaries on 'Songs': Simplicity, Madness, Genius and Swedenborgianism
3. Reviving Blake in the 1820s and 1830s: Obituaries, Biographies and the First New Editions

4. Enshrining Blake in the 1860s and 1870s: Pre-Raphaelitism, Aestheticism and Counter-Attack

5. Blake and the Moderns: Symbolism and Scholarship

6. The Post-War Foundations: System, Myth and History
7. Freedom and Repression in the 1960s and 1970s: Form, Ideology and Gender
8. Blake's Composite Art in the 1980s and 1990s: Textuality and the Materiality of the Book
9. Worlding Blake Today: 'Past, Present and Future Sees'

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