Blake’s Margins

An Interpretive Study of the Annotations


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About the Book

Known for his prophetic and imaginative works of poetry, painting, and printmaking, William Blake was also a prolific reader and annotator of other writers’ works. This is the first work of criticism to consider Blake’s annotations in their entirety, and it covers such topics as art, poetry, theology, madness and philosophy, as well as the authors Lavater, Swedenborg, Bacon, Spurzheim, Berkeley, and Wordsworth, among others.

About the Author(s)

The late Hazard Adams was professor emeritus at the University of Washington’s department of comparative literature. He was known internationally as a scholar of William Blake, W.B. Yeats, Joyce Cary, and the history of criticism. He lived in Shelton, Washington.

Bibliographic Details

Hazard Adams
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: notes, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4536-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5547-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. Annotations to Johann Caspar Lavater’s Aphorisms on Man      7
2. Annotations to Emanuel Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell, Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, and Divine Providence      28
3. Annotations to Bishop Richard Watson’s An Apology for the Bible      61
4. Annotations to Sir Francis Bacon’s Essays Moral, Economical, and Political      81
5. Annotations to Henry Boyd’s A Translation of the Inferno of Dante Alighieri      97
6. Annotations to Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Discourses on Art      109
7. Annotations to J. C. Spurzheim’s Observations on the Deranged Manifestations of the Mind, or Insanity      139
8. Annotations to Bishop George Berkeley’s Siris      150
9. Annotations to William Wordsworth’s Poems and Preface to The Excursion      160
10. Annotations to Robert John Thornton’s The Lord’s Prayer, Newly Translated      177
11. Addendum      193
12. A Note on Blake’s Reading      195

Index      199

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “With the increasing appreciation of the nature of marginalia as a genre, Hazard Adams’s study of Blake’s is a timely one. Adams has the fine talents of discussing difficult passages lucidly without simplifying their meanings… all readers…will come away from it with a richer understanding of his thought”—
  • “An important and interesting work…this is the first critical work to consider William Blake’s annotations in their entirety”—Oxford Journal