Blake’s ‘Human Form Divine’ has long commanded the spotlight. Beastly Blake shifts focus to the non-human creatures who populate Blake’s poetry and designs. The author of ‘The Tyger’ and ‘The Lamb’ was equally struck by the ‘beastliness’ and the beauty of the animal kingdom, the utter otherness of animal subjectivity and the meaningful relationships between humans and other creatures. ‘Conversing with the Animal forms of wisdom night & day’, Blake fathomed how much they have to teach us about creation and eternity. This collection ranges from real animals in Blake’s surroundings, to symbolic creatures in his mythology, to animal presences in his illustrations of Virgil, Dante, Hayley, and Stedman. It makes a third to follow Queer Blake and Sexy Blake in irreverently illuminating blind spots in Blake criticism. Beastly Blake will reward lovers of Blake’s writing and visual art, as well as those interested in Romanticism and animal studies.
About the Author
Helen P. Bruder, amateur, published William Blake and the Daughters of Albion in 1997. She's been thinking about, and working on, Blake and gender ever since. Currently she's also writing limericks on rustic themes.
Tristanne Connolly is Associate Professor of English at St Jerome’s, University of Waterloo, Canada. She published William Blake and the Body in 2002 and has since published several articles and edited several essay collections on Blake and on British Romantic literature, particularly on gender and sexuality, and science and medicine.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: ‘Conversing with the Animal forms of wisdom’: Helen P. Bruder and Tristanne Connolly.- 2. Blake’s ‘Horses of Instruction’: Kurt Fosso.- 3. Blake’s ‘Auguries of Innocence’ as / in Radical Animal Politics c. 1800: Anne Milne.- 4. In the Company of Wolves: Blake’s Lyca Poems as Political Fable: Elizabeth Effinger.- 5. Apocalyptic Visions, Heroism, and Intersections of the Human and ‘the Not Human’ in Blake’s Milton: Diane Piccitto.- 6. Blake as Shaman: The Neuroscience of Hallucinations and Milton’s Lark: David Worrall.- 7. Bestial Metamorphoses: Blake’s Variations on Trans-human Change in Dante’s Hell: Luisa Calè.- 8. ‘How sweet is the Shepherds sweet lot’?: Sheep in Blake’s Designs: Hayley Flynn.- 9. ‘Train of Elephants’: Blake’s (Un)tamed Beasts and Hayley’s Animal Ballads: Mark Crosby.- 10. From Vampire to Apollo: William Blake’s Ghosts of the Flea (c. 1819-20): Sibylle Erle.- 11. News from the Thames (Blake! There’s Something in the Water): Bethan Stevens.