Jerusalem: Blake, Parry, and the Fight for Englishness

Whittaker, Jason (2022) Jerusalem: Blake, Parry, and the Fight for Englishness. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192845870

Full text not available from this repository.

Item Type:Book or Monograph
Item Status:Live Archive


A reception history of William Blake's 'Jerusalem' that traces the hymn's increasing associations with national identity. The stanzas beginning, 'And did those feet' are among the most famous work written by the Romantic poet and artist, William Blake. Set to music by Hubert Parry in 1916 and renamed, 'Jerusalem', this hymn has become an emblem of Englishness in the past century, and is regularly invoked at sporting events, public and private ceremonies, and, of course, as part of Last Night of the Proms.

Yet when Blake first engraved his lines in his epic work, Milton a Poem, he had been tried for sedition. Likewise, although Parry was commissioned to compose his music as part of the war effort by the organization Fight for Right, he soon removed permission for that group to perform his hymn and instead gave the copyright to the women's suffrage movement. 'Jerusalem', then, is a much more contested vision of England's green and pleasant land than is often assumed.

This book traces the history of the poem and the music from Blake's original verses, written in Felpham, via the turmoil of the First and Second World Wars, its recording history in the late twentieth century, and its use in political controversies such as the 2016 Brexit vote. As such, this book explores the deep complexities of what Englishness means into the twenty-first century.

Keywords:Jerusalem, music, William Blake, Hubert Parry
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
W Creative Arts and Design > W300 Music
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
ID Code:48409
Deposited On:31 Mar 2022 09:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page