Elaine's Reviews > Blake

Blake by Peter Ackroyd
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Jul 24, 10

Recommended for: anyone with an interest in art and poetry
Read in July, 2009

Amazing biography, excellently written. Since Blake was very open about his visions and conversations with the dead, Ackroyd is able to present his inner life as well as Blake's always evolving artistic creations. This is a biography of the man, his inner life, and how it impinges on his art, as well as Blake's religious and political views, and his theories of art and how all merged and influenced his amazing poetry and engravings. Blake himself innovated his art throughout his life, leaving an incredible variety of techniques and forms. I have never so much as taken a course in art history, but this biography has not only illuminated my understanding of the artistic proceses, but has spurred me to buy the complete illustrated books Blake produced and also a book explaining in detail many of his works.

I always thought Blake was a conventionally religious man, but he was a Radical and Dissenter and even believed in --and illustrated -- nudity and sex as ways to the spiritual life.

One thing, you may need a good dictionary by your side as you read Ackroyd's flowing prose. I consulted the Concise Oxford English and added many new word to my vocabulary.
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