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William Blake

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Download plain text file – release 1.0

Download PDF file – release 1.0 – 32 pages

Download ePub file – release 1.0

Download Mobi file – release 1.0

All versions contain the same text, but on a device with a large enough screen the carefully typeset PDF version will give you the best reading experience.

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is considered to be Blake’s most influential work — a prophetic, cryptic, anarchic, irreverent, satirical, revolutionary artistic tour de force, hilarious and deeply serious, that defies all categorization and almost all analysis.

You can download a complete PDF file of an original print here:

people.virginia.edu/~jdk3t/MarrOfHeaven&HellBlake1790.pdf

Due to the manual work involved in the printing process, each one of the original prints looks different — you can compare various copies here:

www.blakearchive.org/work/mhh

And here is an interesting article about the problems involved in editing Blake’s writings:

www.rc.umd.edu/praxis/editing_blake/fuller/fuller.html

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About the Author

William Blake, born 1757 in Soho, London, was an English poet, writer, philosopher, painter, engraver and printer, prolific in both his visual and literary artistic work, and unique in combining both in his “illuminated books.” Moderately successful with his commercial work as an engraver he was mostly unrecognized as an artist during his lifetime, the singularity and idiosyncrasy of his work not being appreciated by his contemporaries — at the time of his death, he had sold fewer than 30 copies of his Songs of Innocence and of Experience, now a cornerstone of the canon of English poetry. In 2006 in an article for the Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones called Blake “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced.”

In 1782 Blake married Catherine Boucher, whom he had met the year before; their marriage was happy and lasted until his death in 1827. Catherine, who had been illiterate when they met, provided important practical support, assisting with printing and running the household finances. As his last work, on his deathbed Blake drew a picture of Catherine (now lost), telling her “you have ever been an angel to me.”

Here is not the place for a comprehensive appraisal of William Blake’s works, his visionary political and philosophical thoughts, and his influence; much has been written about him, and if you are interested, the Wikipedia article is a good start.

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