A religious dissident, a radical, a poet and an artist, a man viewed by many of his contemporaries as eccentric to the point of insanity, Blake is among the most captivating figures in cultural history. After serving an apprenticeship as an engraver, he became a student at the Royal Academy of Arts, where his outspoken views on both art and his peers gained him notoriety. Never a stranger to controversy, he supported causes including the French Revolution, the sexual emancipation of women, and the abolition of self-denial from religious teaching, and is most famous for his works Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and for his engravings. Daniel Hahn, author of the Shelley and Coleridge volumes in the Poetic Lives series, here provides a unique view of this truly original figure, which elegantly situates his poetry in the story of his life.
Daniel Hahn is a writer and translator whose works include The Tower Menagerie and Poetic Lives: Shelley and Poetic Lives: Coleridge (both Hesperus, 2009). He has also edited a number of literary companions, including (with Margaret Drabble) The Oxford Companion to English Literature and (with Jane Rogers) The Good Fiction Guide.