William Blake: A Literary Life

Overview

Written by the distinguished scholar Professor John Beer, and published here in paperback for the first time, this volume on Blake in Palgrave Macmillan's Literary Lives series follows the writer's life and combines biography and critical analysis. Covering Blake's early career, his major works (such as Songs of Innocence and of Experience) and his work as a visual artist, this new study will be a must for all Blake scholars and enthusiasts. Recent discoveries concerning Blake's forebears and their religion make ...

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Overview

Written by the distinguished scholar Professor John Beer, and published here in paperback for the first time, this volume on Blake in Palgrave Macmillan's Literary Lives series follows the writer's life and combines biography and critical analysis. Covering Blake's early career, his major works (such as Songs of Innocence and of Experience) and his work as a visual artist, this new study will be a must for all Blake scholars and enthusiasts. Recent discoveries concerning Blake's forebears and their religion make this new study additionally timely.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Professor John Beer's new book combines illuminating and fresh discussions of Blake's life and work with astute commentary on the visual materials. Tracing Blake's religious background from early childhood onwards, Beer presents a clear and highly readable account of the spiritual richness and complexity of his mature poetry. We also learn a lot about the world of fellow-artists, patrons and publishers in which Blake moved, including surprising glimpses of the visionary poet's forthright business dealings. Towards the end of the book Beer musters a moving series of contemporaries' impressions of Blake, some of which will be new to readers.' - Professor Deirdre Coleman, University of Sydney, Australia

'A continual source of stimulus...Beer conveys readable information about Blake's life, retelling some famous and less well-known anecdotes with a quiet power...he carries his immense and up-to-date scholarship lightly.. a fine book.' - Times Literary Supplement

'...Beer shows himself to be among the most astute readers of Blake's poetry...Part of a biographer's task is to get the reader to know his or her subject as a person and not merely as a poet or an artist or an historical figure. This John Beer had done admirably.' - Morton D. Paley, The Wordsworth Circle

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230546820
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/2/2007
  • Series: Literary Lives Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN BEER is well known for his work on English Romantic literature. He has lectured in India and the USA as well as at Manchester and Cambridge, where he is now Emeritus Professor of English Literature and Fellow of Peterhouse. His books include Coleridge the Visionary, Coleridge's Poetic Intelligence, Blake's Humanism, Blake's Visionary Universe, Wordsworth and the Human Heart, Wordsworth in Time, Questioning Romanticism (ed.), Romantic Consciousness: Blake to Mary Shelley Post-Romantic Consciousness: Dickens to Sylvia Plath and Romantic Influences.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
• Abbreviations
• Preface
• Rescuing the Human Spirit
• Traces of Tradition?
• Through Satire to Innocence
• Love, Marriage and Sexual Lore
• Finding a Voice for Experience
• The Challenge of Energy
• Thinking Allegorically, Imagining Symbolically
• 'Vala' and the Fate of Narrative
• 'A Slumber on the Banks of the Ocean'
• Fragmentary Modes of Epic
• Years of Resentment, Hints of Paradox
• A Persisting Visionary
• Prophetic Afterlife
• Notes
• Select Bibliography
• Index

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