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About the Author
British poet, painter, visionary mystic, and engraver, who illustrated and printed his own books, Blake proclaimed the supremacy of the imagination over the rationalism and materialism of the 18th-century. Misunderstanding shadowed his career as a writer and artist and it was left to later generations to recognize his importance.
G. E. Bentley, Jr. has taught at the universities of Chicago and Toronto and is an authority on William Blake and his circle of friends. His most recent books include a 2-volume edition of Blake's Writings, The Stranger from Paradise: A Biography of William Blake (2001), and Blake Records (2004).
William Blake was born in Soho in 1757 and lived in London all of his life, with the exception of three years spent in Bognor Regis. In 1772 Blake became an apprentice engraver and went on to study at the Royal Academy, where he exhibited in 1780. Blake married Catherine Boucher in 1782 and the following year his first 'illuminated book' Poetical Sketches was printed. Blake's talents in both the visual arts and literature have made him a seminal figure of the Romantic period and he is regarded as one of Britain's greatest poets. He died in 1827.