Blake

Blake

Paperback

By (author) Peter Ackroyd

$17.59
List price $23.42
You save $5.83 24% off

Free delivery worldwide
Available
Dispatched in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?

  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 464 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 194mm x 30mm | 381g
  • Publication date: 3 January 1998
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0749391766
  • ISBN 13: 9780749391768
  • Illustrations note: 24pp plates, b&w illustrations, b&w photographs, colour photographs
  • Sales rank: 113,770

Product description

Poet, painter, engraver and visionary, Blake's was a radical spirit fired by genius. Yet his life has remained an enigma. In this magnificent biography Peter Ackroyd discloses the true nature of William Blake's life and art.

Other people who viewed this bought:

Showing items 1 to 10 of 10

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

Author information

Peter Ackroyd is the author of biographies of Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Dickens, Blake, Wilkie Collins and Thomas More and of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers London: The Biography and Thames: Sacred River. Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet and historian. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature's William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the South Bank Prize for Literature. He holds a CBE for services to literature.

Review quote

"Marvellous...deeply moving and radiant with detail... What makes Ackroyd so exceptional among biographers is the range and beauty of his knowledge.This is a book to go out and buy at once" Observer "Exhilarating...has all the hypnotic power and psychological intensity of a dream-fiction" Daily Telegraph "Glowing and engaged...will send many readers back to the poems enriched" -- John Carey Sunday Times "Taut, lucid and intelligent...will surely stand as a classic of the genre" Harpers & Queen

Editorial reviews

Ackroyd's biography of William Blake represents an achievement of composite method fully in the poet's own spirit - it's a work so sensitive to its subject, it seems to have conjured him from the beyond. Scholar, workaday artisan, mystic, and social critic, Blake (1757-1827) excelled at poetry, engraving, and painting. Yet rather than spread his multifacteed genius through diverse pursuits, Blake concentrated it into his homemade books - famous now, but noted in his day only as oddities. For these sui generis productions, Blake printed pages where script and illustration flow side by side: now commenting on this world, now offering visions of others. Novelist and biographer Ackroyd (The Trial of Elizabeth Cree, 1995; Dickens, 1991; etc.) again shows himself to be an adept literary critic and historian: His explications of many of Blake's works, from widely known lyrics like "The Tyger" to hermetic epics like "The Four Zoas," unfold into detailed panoramas of England as Blake knew it. He captures the difficulties that the radical Blake faced in squaring his art training at the prestigious Royal Academy with his humble artisanal background. The blunt, "gothic," outline forms of Raphael and Durer, out of fashion at the time, provided Blake with an alternative tradition with which to affiliate himself; such contemporaries as John Flaxman and Henry Fuseli provided moral support. Above all, Ackroyd stresses Blake's intimate relation to his London environs and to the crises of war and industrialization that beset Britain during his life. While he argues that Blake was often caught up in hallucinatory waking visions, Ackroyd weighs against any diagnosis of mental illness the justice of Blake's claim that he was gifted to see through and beyond the insane upheavals of his times. Not the least part of Ackroyd's accomplishment is to have limited himself to 416 pages - enough, and (to paraphrase Blake), assuredly not too much. (Kirkus Reviews)