The Stranger from Paradise: A Biography of William Blake
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The Stranger from Paradise: A Biography of William Blake

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  7 reviews
This fascinating and generously illustrated biography of William Blake, the great English artist, poet, and mystic, encompasses virtually everything that is known of his life and times. Often invoking the words of Blake's own contemporaries, G. E. Bentley describes the struggles of Blake's youth, his gradual embrace of the power of the spirit and visionary art and literatu...more
Paperback, 632 pages
Published April 10th 2003 by Paul Mellon Centre BA (first published May 1st 2001)
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Mary Overton
"What [Catherine Blake] was good at was managing [the Blakes'] finances. Blake himself 'spoke of his horror of Money. Of his turning pale when money had been offerd him', and he confessed that 'I seldom carry money in my pockets': '"Were I to love money," he said, "I should lose all power of original thought; desire of gain deadens the genius of man. I might roll in wealth and ride in a golden chariot, were I to listen to the voice of parsimony. My business is not to gather gold, but to make glo...more
James
Nov 30, 2008 James rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any Blake reader.
Excellent, readable, and very well documented biography of William Blake from one of the top Blake critics alive today. Main criticisms I've heard are that it doesn't rely enough on original archival research and is too close to being a narrative version of Blake Records. However, this work is so well researched that archival research would be a supplement to an already dense structure. Does a good job of focusing on Blake's life and reading the poems within it rather than descending into explic...more
Hadrian
An excellent look at the life of the poet-artist-mystic William Blake. Excellent usage of letters and other primary sources, and the extremely large sampling of Blake's drawings and poetry contributed greatly.

This book does assume at least some understanding of Blake's work, but with that comes a new window of understanding this man's brilliant life.
Jeff
At times it is difficult to catch sight of Blake himself through the sheer fog of perspectives Bentley discloses. It is astounding the number of voices he puts forward to testify to Blake's life; it would be nice to have a little more of Blake's own voice. That said, the book was thorough and enlightening.
Mark
Blake will never die he brought to light what most would never say or do.
James Prothero
a very detailed and well written, and scholarly biography
joshuA

Bookmarked at page 273.
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