Divine Images

The Life and Work of William Blake

Jason Whittaker

Divine Images

Jason Whittaker

Distributed for Reaktion Books

352 pages | 90 color plates, 20 halftones | 7 1/4 x 9 3/4
Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9781789142877 Will Publish January 2021 For sale in North and South America only
Although relatively obscure during his lifetime, William Blake has become one of the most popular English artists and writers, through poems such as “The Tyger” and “Jerusalem,” and images including The Ancient of Days. Less well-known is Blake’s radical religious and political temperament and that his visionary art was created to express a personal mythology that sought to recreate an entirely new approach to philosophy and art. This book examines both Blake’s visual and poetic work over his long career, from early engravings and poems to his final illustrations, to Dante and the Book of Job. Divine Images further explores Blake’s immense popular appeal and influence after his death, offering an inspirational look at a pioneering figure.
Review Quotes
Sibylle Erle, reader in English literature, Bishop Grosseteste University, author of "Blake, Lavater, and Physiognomy"
"William Blake was influenced by Shakespeare, Milton, and the Bible. Divine Images refamiliarizes the old and powerful stories, disentangles the themes of the prophetic books, and celebrates the ingenuity of the lyric poetry, while contextualizing all in the visual and political culture of Blake’s day. Whittaker’s beautifully written book puts Blake’s spirituality and humanism center stage. He explains what in Blake appealed to the Victorian and Modernist eras and still inspires contemporary artists, writers, and musicians."
Morris Eaves, professor of English and Richard L. Turner Professor of Humanities, University of Rochester, editor of "The Cambridge Companion to William Blake"
"No one can survive the impossible, irresistible Blake without an introduction. Whittaker’s is superior—readable, knowledgeable, comprehensive, up to date. Highly recommended for anyone trying to follow Blake’s golden thread."
Joseph Viscomi, James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of English Literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"Divine Images is the ideal guide for anyone wanting to know the life and works of William Blake—or to return to what they thought they knew. It is excellent both as an introduction to and overview of the historic Blake, exploring his poetry and art in their time and place and his inspiring legacy through the nineteenth century up to the present day."
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