ABOUT THIS BOOK
No work has challenged its readers like Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell”—by turns iconoclastic, bizarre, and unprecedented—have been employed as the slogans of student protest and become axioms of modern thought. Most extraordinary, though, is the revolutionary method Blake employed in making the physical book. The Bodleian Library holds one of the first copies that Blake printed using a technique he called "illuminated printing," and it is the only work in which he signifies its importance.
This new facsimile edition of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell includes a plate-by-plate guide to the texts, interlinear figures, and larger designs in a commentary accompanying the transcript of each reproduced plate. Drawings from Blake’s manuscript notebook, which were used as a basis for the designs, as well as working proof impressions, are also included, demonstrating the evolution of the work. This edition also reproduces a single plate from each of the other eight surviving copies, revealing how over a period of more than thirty years Blake altered the way he finished each copy. An introduction explores the book's literary and historical background, Blake’s printing process, and the book's anonymous initial publication.
This expertly edited work is available for students and scholars in paperback and for collectors in a special hardcover edition. Both versions allow Blake’s vision to reassert its breathtaking power.