William Blake

William Blake (1757–1827) was born on 28 November in 1757 in Soho, London, to a family with moderate means. At the age of 10, William left school to become apprenticed to a master engraver and remained till 1779. After a brief courtship, Blake married Catherine whom he taught not only to read and write but also tutored to assist him in executing his designs. Though they had a successful marriage, the Blakes remained childless. His first collection of poems ‘Poetical Sketches’ was published in 1783. In 1800, he left London briefly to live and work in Sussex but returned to the capital in 1803 and continued writing poetry and illustrating them. The Selected Poems of William Blake includes ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’, ‘The Rossetti Manuscript’, ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, ‘Milton’ among others which contain lyrical verses embodying the emerging spirit of Romanticism. ‘Jerusalem’ the epic poem is his most ambitious work that talks about the impact that Jesus had on the land and people of England. His poems are rich in symbolism and imagery, many of them have a modern ring to them and were highly influential among the later Romantics and Pre-Raphaelite poets and artists of the nineteenth century. William Blake is celebrated as a mystical poet, a revolutionary thinker, and one of the most original and exciting artists. He died in London in 1827.