William Blake and the Age of Aquarius

We rated this book:


This is a truly lovely and inspirational tribute to poet and illustrator William Blake. In fairness, I’m already a bit biased toward Blake, who is one of my favorite artists. This book offers a series of in-depth–one might even say academic–essays on Blake, his work, and his impact. Blake is a 18th-century artist little known in his day but revived periodically throughout the modern era, most recently in the 1960s. And that’s the period this book spends most of its time on, considering not only the other artists who were influenced by Blake but also the ways Blake’s writing and illustrations have predicted and overlapped with modern philosophy. Because, indeed, Blake was not just a writer and illustrator, he was very much a philosopher and theologian as well. Though Blake’s surviving works are unfortunately few, but this book makes the most of what there is.

So given the somewhat limited amount of Blake’s art and writing to which we have access, this isn’t a visual-heavy art book. There is certainly much more writing here than there is glossy illustration. But because Blake is such an unexpected, enigmatic, even bizarre, artist, there’s more than enough to explore and chew over. The included essays are smart, thought-provoking, and enjoyable all around. Even if you’re new to Blake, the book’s first essays include enough historical detail and context to give you entree. Enthusiastically recommended.

Reviewed By:

Author Stephen F. Eisenman • Mark Crosby, Contributor • Elizabeth Ferrell, Contributor • Jacob Henry Leveton, Contributor • W.J.T. Mitchell, Contributor • John P. Murphy, Contributor
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 248 pages
Publisher Princeton University Press
Publish Date 2017-Oct-17
ISBN 9780691175256
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue April 2018
Category History


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