First published in 1998, this book formed part of an ongoing effort to restore politics and history to the centre of Blake studies. It adopts a three pronged approach when presenting its essays, seeking to promote a return to the political Blake; to deepen the understanding of some of the conversations articulated in Blake’s art by introducing new, historical material or new interpretations of texts; and to highlight differing perspectives on Blake’s politics among historically focused critics. The collection contains essays with varying methodological assumptions and differing positions on questions central to historicist Blake scholarship.
Figures; Acknowledgements; Introduction Jackie DiSalvo; Abbreviations and Short Titles Part I: Blake and the Question of Revolution 1. The Myth of Blake’s "Orc Cycle" Christopher Z. Hobson 2. Blake’s Bible of Hell: Prophecy as Political Program Stephen C. Behrendt 3. The Anxiety of Productio: Blake’s Shift from Collective Hope to Writing Self Eric V. Chandler 4. William Blake’s Figural Politics James E. Swearingen Blake and the Underground 5. "The Doom of Tyrants": William Blake, Richard "Citizen" Lee, and the Millenarian Public Sphere Jon Mee 6. Blake’s Tiriel and the Regency Crisis: Lifting the Veil on a Royal Masonic Scandal Marsha Keith Schuchard; Laboring into Futurity: A Response Joseph Wittreich Part II: Art and Politics 7. "Lovers of Wild Rebellion" : The Image of Satan in British Art of the Revolutionary Era John Hutton 8. The Mob and "Mrs Q": William Blake, William Benbow, and the Context of Regency Radicalism David Worrall; "The French Revolution," "America" and "Europe" 9. Politics and Desire in Blake’s the French Revolution Andrew Lincoln 10. "The Lion & Wolf shall cease": Blake’s America as a Critique of Counter-Revolutionary Violence William Richey 11. The Finite Revolutions of Europe Michael Ferber 12. Re-Framing the Moment of Creation: Blake’s Re-Visions of the Frontispiece and Title Page to Europe Peter Otto Part III: Blake, Empire and Slavery 13. Empire of the Sea: Blake’s "King Edward the Third" and English Imperial Poetry G. A. Rosso 14. Revolted Negroes and the Devilish Principle: William Blake and Conflicting Visions of Boni’s Wars in Surinam, 1772-1796 Anne Rubenstein and Camilla Townsend Blake and Women 15. Albion and the Sexual Machine: Blake, Gender and Politics, 1780-1795 Catherine L. McClenahan 16. Transfigured Maternity in Blake’s Songs of Innocence: Inverting the "Maternity Plot" in "A Dream" Harriet Kramer Linkin 17. Maenads, Young Ladies, and the Lovely Daughters of Albion June Sturrock Blake, Gender and Imperial Ideology: A Response Ann K. Mellor;Works Cited; Contributors; Index