The Matter of Britain: Blake, Milton, and the Ancient Britons

Whittaker, Jason (2006) The Matter of Britain: Blake, Milton, and the Ancient Britons. In: Blake, nation and empire. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, USA, pp. 186-200. ISBN 9780333993149

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Item Type:Book Section
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

This chapter in the volume Blake, Nation and Empire, was part of a publication that emerged from the 2000 William Blake exhibition at Tate Britain gallery, and to which Whittaker was invited to speak. The book set out to challenge the orthodoxy of the politics of William Blake as exclusively radical, defined by his participation in the revolutionary ferment of the 1790s. It examines his work in the context of emergent discourses of nation and empire, and of the construction of a public sphere, and restored the longevity to his artistic career by placing particular emphasis on his output in the 1820s. As such, Blake's work is shown not only to be complexly embedded in the culture of his time but also to prefigure and contest the imperial century of pax Britannica. The author's own chapter concentrated on how Milton?s History of Britain influenced the illuminations and text in Blake?s prophetic book Milton, as part of the revision of radicalism of the Civil War period during a period of British expansion abroad in the early nineteenth century.

Keywords:William Blake
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q300 English studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (Journalism)
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ID Code:16805
Deposited On:01 Jan 2016 19:00

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