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Passions in PoetryWilliam Blake
1757 - 1827

Blake was born in London and was educated at Henry Pars Drawing School before becoming apprentice to the engraver, James Basire (1772-79). By the time he opened a print shop in London in 1784, he was already established as a graphic designer and drawing tutor. When he went to live in Sussex (1800-03), he was charged with high treason but acquitted, after which he returned to London. After a rather unsuccessful show of his artistic work in 1809, he went into obscurity and became a mystic. A radical supporter of the French Revolution, he was an outright critic of the social evils which he linked with the Industrial Revolution. His work as a poet and artist is usually understood in the context of his social, political and religious beliefs. He was not really understood by his peers but much has been written on him by twentieth-century readers who appreciate the greatness he achieved in his many fields of interest.

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