Songs of Innocence and of Experience (Hardcover)

By William Blake, Robert N. Essick (Editor)

Huntington Library Press, 9780873282369, 185pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2008



"Songs of Innocence and of Experience "are Blake's most familiar poems. A few examples, such as "The Tyger" and "The Chimney Sweeper," frequently appear in anthologies of English literature, in which the poems are often printed without Blake's evocative engravings. But Blake made collections of his "Songs, "first the "Innocence "group alone in 1789, and then "Experience "in 1794, combining the two in that year to make up a single volume.
This facsimile edition is based on a unique copy in the collection of the Huntington Library that shows how Blake used coloring style and pen and ink additions to make a unified book out of fifty-four individual engravings. Based on new digital photography, this edition also captures the designs and coloring as closely as possible. The plates are followed by a transcription of the poems.
Robert N. Essick's commentary includes a brief biography of Blake and interprets each poem in dialogue with the other "Songs. "Essick also explores the political and historical contexts of the poems. Newcomers to Blake will find a thorough grounding in his unusual art and language, while experts will encounter fresh discoveries.

About the Author

Robert N. Essick, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of California, Riverside, is the author of numerous books on William Blake.