Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Stranger from Paradise: A Biography of William Blake” as Want to Read:
The Stranger from Paradise: A Biography of William Blake
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Stranger from Paradise: A Biography of William Blake

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  78 Ratings  ·  10 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Stranger from Paradise, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Stranger from Paradise

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
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
Prima Seadiva
May 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I was excited to check this out I didn't even have to put a hold on it- a minor miracle at my library.
I read the first 80-100 pages, tried to read more then browsed the rest hoping I would get engaged somewhere. I found it rather disjointed and a bit turgid. While obviously massively researched (with thousands of footnotes and 50 pages of addenda), I could not get a sense of flow about the events of Blake's life. Except for an occasional paragraph neither he nor contemporaries really came to li
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any Blake reader.
Shelves: art
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
Yannis Livadas
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the second best book on Blake, after "Fearful Symmetry".
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
While comprehensive and copiously footnoted, it can be easy to get disjointed by Bentley's presentation of information and incorporation of sources. The author makes good use of quotes from Blake's contemporaries to give a great understanding of how he was perceived, but sometimes these quotes could use some more explanation, and the block quotes in particularly become almost burdensome at times, though at other times they can be immensely rewarding for the insight they give into Blake's charact ...more
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.
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
rated it liked it
Apr 07, 2016
rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2015
rated it liked it
Apr 07, 2007
rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2007
rated it really liked it
Jul 22, 2008
Carla Arbagey
rated it it was amazing
Apr 11, 2015
rated it liked it
Jan 16, 2017
Kent Proctor
rated it liked it
Aug 23, 2008
Bahar Ranjbar
rated it liked it
Mar 12, 2007
rated it really liked it
Sep 21, 2012
Grant Wilder
rated it it was amazing
Jun 28, 2015
rated it really liked it
Sep 04, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Nov 05, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2007
Dec 18, 2010 rated it it was ok

Bookmarked at page 273.
Thomas Armstrong
rated it really liked it
Apr 08, 2013
rated it really liked it
Feb 12, 2009
rated it really liked it
Feb 07, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2007
rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2007
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Black Maven: A Stranger from Paradise: A Biography of William Blake. p 1 3 Aug 19, 2011 04:17PM