About the BookWilliam Blake (1757—1827) was an English painter, poet and printmaker. He was born in Soho, London to James and Catherine Blake. He left his school at the age of ten, and was educated at home by his mother. The Bible had a deep influence on Blake, and remained a major source of inspiration for him throughout his life. He is considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language”. His visual artistry led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced”. In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He produced a diverse and symbolically rich oeuvre, which embraced the imagination as “the body of God” or “human existence itself”.
Hundreds of books have been written on Blake, to understand and evaluate his skills, vision and views, some of which were enigmatic to many, but none more impressive and lasting than Arthur Symons’s. Besides narrating the early childhood and youth of Blake along with interesting incidents, the book describes his creativity in the fields of painting, poetry, political views and enlightenment philosophy. The events of his life in London and Felpham with his major preoccupations have been ably captured. Some letters which give a glimpse of important happenings of that time have been included and make an interesting reading. Stanzas from Blake’s famous poems have also been given which enrich the text.