The first apprentice of William Blake; an able and old-fashioned engraver in London.
William Blake’s mother.
William Blake’s father.
William Blake’s brother who died as a nineteen-year-old in 1787. This event had a major impact on William, who would later write, “Thirteen years ago, I lost a brother & with his spirit I converse daily & hourly in the Spirit.”
William Blake’s wife and lifelong soul mate. They married in 1782 and Catherine died in 1831.
Henry Crabb Robinson
A friend and admirer of Blake’s work who commissioned, along with Charles Lamb, a last-ditch effort to exhibit and sell Blake’s art and poetry. The exhibition was received poorly by the public and failed miserably, leaving the Blake couple broke.
An engraver and publisher in London, who would steal and solicit the plagiarism of Blake’s illustrations, causing Blake to go after him in court and break him financially.
A female character in Blake's mythology, she represents female domination and spiritual beauty and embodies pity, but at the same time creates the spatial aspect of the fallen world, weaving bodies for men and creating sexual strife through her insistence upon chastity. She, along with Los, gives birth to Orc.
William Blake’s first in-depth biographer (The Life of William Blake, published 1863).
Long time Blake friend and William Cowper biographer. Hayley owned the cottage in Felpham where the Blake couple lived from 1800-03.
Leigh and John Hunt
Owners and editors of the highly esteemed London periodical review Examiner. The Hunt’s review of Blake’s work in 1820 was scathing, referring to the art as nothing greater than “work of an unfortunate lunatic.” The review was a major part to Blake’s eventual financial ruin and despair.
A friend and admirer of Blake’s work who commissioned, along with Henry Crabb Robinson, a last-ditch effort to exhibit and sell Blake’s art and poetry. The exhibition was received poorly by the public and failed miserably, leaving the Blake couple broke.
An admirer and later-life friend of William Blake’s who commissioned him to proved accompanying illustrations to the Book of Job and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Blake died in 1827 before either works could be completed.
Los is the fallen (earthly or human) form of Urthona, one of the four Zoas. He is referred to as the "eternal prophet" and creates the visionary city of Golgonooza. Los is regularly described as a smith, beating with his hammer on a forge, which is metaphorically connected to the beating of the human heart. The bellows of his forge are the human lungs.
Born to Enitharmon and Los, Orc is a positive figure, the embodiment of creative passion and energy, and stands opposed to Urizen, the embodiment of tradition.
William Blake’s contemporary apprentice under Basire. Parker and Blake would later become partners in a jointly owned print shop on Broad Street, right next door to the Blake hosiery shop and household The partnership only lasted one year.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
An Italian poet who withheld Blake’s Notebook for a period of time following Blake’s death. The Notebook was a collection of poems/fragments/thoughts recorded in an old book that once belonged to Blake’s brother Robert, and was later referred to as The Rossetti Manuscript because of Gabriel Rossetti’s brief ownership.
A Scandinavian mystic/poet rebel who refused and refuted the semi-materialistic philosophy that had grown so widespread in the late eighteenth century. Swedenborg was a major influence on the young William Blake who would philosophically follow in his path.
Urizen is the embodiment of conventional reason and law. He is usually depicted as a bearded old man; he sometimes bears architect's tools, to create and constrain the universe; or nets, with which he ensnares people in webs of law and conventional culture. Originally, Urizen represented one half of a two-part system, with him representing reason and Los, his opposition, representing imagination.
The Poems of William Blake Questions and Answers
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The Poems of William Blake study guide contains a biography of William Blake, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis of select poems by William Blake.