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This work postulates that the set of 116 designs by William Blake, illustrated herein, is not a series of individual responses to the pieces of text they accompany, nor is it a series of responses to the individual poems of Thomas Gray. The designs are also more than illustrations, or corrections, of Gray's speakers or of Gray himself. In the Gray designs, Blake was using the opportunity given him by John and Ann Flaxman in 1797 to explore and explain visually the reformist malaise in the reactionary nineties when the general economic well-being and optimism had been replaced by the effects of war and fear. For Blake, the collapse into the later 1790s is the failure of the imaginative will to sustain the impetus that the American and French Revolutions had begun.
Blake saw several causes for this failure of will and created a set of designs rich in allusions and dense with visual conventions. These visual topoi are personal, topical, classical, biblical, and literary.
Thus, there is a need for a study of the Gray designs that sees them as they are: a unity rich with visual conventions partaking of Blake's revolutionary pattern of development and desire to reshape in specific ways the mind of his audience.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Frank A. Vaughan is associate professor of English and department chair at Campbell University in North Carolina.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Susquehanna University Press 1/4/1996, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. 2 This book is brand new; never used or opened. No remainder marks. Seller Inventory # 081004-121-my135
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Book Description Susquehanna Univ Pr, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0945636741
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Book Description Susquehanna Univ Pr, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110945636741