Ideology and Utopia in the Poetry of William Blake

Overview

William Blake's unusual sensitivity to social context has often been noted. Nicholas Williams situates Blake's thought historically by examining detailed readings of Blake's major poems alongside such contemporary parallels as Rousseau's Emile, Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. The author offers revealing new insights into key Blake texts and draws attention to their inclusion of social determinism, theories of ideology-critique and traditions...
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Overview

William Blake's unusual sensitivity to social context has often been noted. Nicholas Williams situates Blake's thought historically by examining detailed readings of Blake's major poems alongside such contemporary parallels as Rousseau's Emile, Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. The author offers revealing new insights into key Blake texts and draws attention to their inclusion of social determinism, theories of ideology-critique and traditions of twentieth-century utopias.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"His discussion of Blake and gender, his comparison of the Blakean view of history to Burkean historiography, and his placing of Blake's apocalyptic works and his Jerusalem in critical juxtaposition to The Rights of Man and to Robert Owens's experiments in early socialism allow us to read Blake in a context that is all too often ignored in Blake studies." Joseph W. Childers
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521026840
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Romanticism Series, #28
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
Preface
Acknowledgements
Note on the text and list of abbreviations
1 Blake, ideology and utopia: strategies for change 1
2 The ideology of instruction in Emile and Songs of Innocence and of Experience 32
3 The discourse of women's liberation in Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Europe and Visions of the Daughters of Albion 71
4 Edmund Burke and models of history in America, The Song of Los, and The Four Zoas 98
5 The utopian moment in Rights of Man and Milton 141
6 The utopian city and the public sphere in Robert Owen and Jerusalem 170
7 Conclusion: the function of utopianism at the present time 207
Notes 220
Index 248
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