Tag: William Blake

The Last Bard: loops of an invented tradition

December 26, 2020 2 Comments
The Last Bard: loops of an invented tradition

By now the ‘invented tradition’ is itself a tradition.  Since Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger published their edited collection The invention of tradition in 1983, we’ve become familiar with the idea that rituals, histories and beliefs that seem age-old were actually recent fictions devised with specific purposes in mind. One of the chapters in The […]

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A reader walks out

December 27, 2019 0 Comments
A reader walks out

In the huge and magnificent William Blake exhibition now on in Tate Britain there are many images that were new to me, even though I’d seen the earlier big Tate shows of his artistic work, in 1978 and 2000.  One of them comes from a series Blake produced during the last three years of his […]

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William Blake on the moon

July 26, 2019 0 Comments
William Blake on the moon

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin may have reached the surface of the moon fifty years ago this week.  But William Blake beat them to it, by 176 years.  What’s more, he had no use for the sophisticated technologies of the Apollo 11 mission.  All he needed was a long ladder.  It’s easy for us, in […]

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In Bunhill Fields

November 3, 2018 3 Comments
In Bunhill Fields

This week we paid a visit to a place that’s been on my wish list for many years: Bunhill Fields. Some might think it a perverse pilgrimage, because Bunhill Fields isn’t not a rural glade or open park, but an old burial ground – the origin of ‘Bunhill’ is thought to be ‘bone hill’ – […]

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Catherine Blake’s vision

February 23, 2018 1 Comment
Catherine Blake’s vision

Of all the astonishing visual images William Blake created, between the mid-1770s and his death in 1827, one of the most intriguing is a small sepia wash drawing (244 x 211mm) on a sheet of paper now in the Tate Gallery.  It’s usually known by the title A vision: the inspiration of the poet.  Since […]

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