William Blake (1757-1827) was a poet of striking originality, whose poetic world of myth and mysticism continues to fascinate. By turns a haunting lyricist, an apocalyptic visionary, and an unorthodox thinker, Blake was for years ignored or derided. Sustained by his belief in the artistic imagination, he drafted poetry, prose visions, and epigrams, and manufactured beautiful illustrated volumes of his lyrics and verse narratives. Towards the end of his life, Blake's unique and irreducible talent was recognized by a group of younger artists, who rescued much of his achievement from oblivion. This selection represents the full range of Blake's accomplishment as a poet, ranging from early Poetical Sketches to late lyrics, and including such major works as The Book of Thel, Songs of Innocence, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Visions of the Daughters of Albion, America, Songs of Experience, and Europe. The collection is chosen from the Oxford Authors critical edition, with Michael Mason's introduction and notes providing the ideal guide to a remarkable oeuvre.
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