The Illuminated Books of William Blake, Volume 4: The Continental Prophecies

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The last volumes in the series of William Blake's Illuminated Books reveal the writer and artist as a prophet driven by a sense of apocalyptic urgency. Blake conceived and executed The Continental Prophecies and The Urizen Books in the early 1790s, capturing the intellectual and spiritual turmoil of the American and French revolutions. Here, for the first time, the general reader will encounter Blake's most intense vision in reproductions that do justice to the originals, accompanied by texts, comprehensive notes...

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Overview

The last volumes in the series of William Blake's Illuminated Books reveal the writer and artist as a prophet driven by a sense of apocalyptic urgency. Blake conceived and executed The Continental Prophecies and The Urizen Books in the early 1790s, capturing the intellectual and spiritual turmoil of the American and French revolutions. Here, for the first time, the general reader will encounter Blake's most intense vision in reproductions that do justice to the originals, accompanied by texts, comprehensive notes and commentaries, and detailed interpretations of the designs.

The Continental Prophecies, which comprises "America," "Europe," and "The Song of Los," presents Blake's critical reckoning with the history of his own times. Marked by a particularly close integration of word and image, the books form a mythical plot from historical events and criticize the intricate structure of social oppression that the author attributes to organized state religion. Each of the three books attempts to point a way toward the process of millennial liberation.

These volumes complete the six-part series of William Blake's Illuminated Books, including Jerusalem, Songs of Innocence and of Experience (now available in paperback), The Early Illuminated Books, and Milton, A Poem, all published by Princeton University Press.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691001456
  • Publisher: William Blake Trust
  • Publication date: 9/4/1998
  • Series: Blake's Illuminated Books Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

PREFACE by David Bindman, General Editor 6

FOREWORD 7

A NOTE ON CITATIONS, ABBREVIATIONS, TEXTS AND VARIANTS 8

THE CONTINENTAL PROPHECIES 11

AMERICA: A PROPHECY

Introduction

Themes and Contexts 27

The Designs 42

Plates, Printings, and Colouring 73

Text and Reproduction 81

Supplementary Illustrations 116

Notes to Blake's Text 127

EUROPE: A PROPHECY

Introduction

Themes and Contexts 141

The Designs 161

Plates, Printings, and Coloring 210

Text and Reproduction 217

Supplementary Illustrations 250

Notes to Blake's Text 266

THE SONG OF LOS

Introduction

Themes and Contexts 287

The Designs 302

Plates, Printing, and Colouring 319

Text and Reproduction 325

Supplementary Illustrations 340

Notes to Blake's Text 347

WORKS CITED355

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