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Ideology and Utopia in the Poetry of William Blake : Cambridge Studies in Romanticism - Nicholas M. Williams

Ideology and Utopia in the Poetry of William Blake

Cambridge Studies in Romanticism

Hardcover Published: 13th April 1998
ISBN: 9780521620505
Number Of Pages: 272

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Scholars have often drawn attention to William Blake's unusual sensitivity to his social context. In this book, Nicholas Williams situates Blake's thought historically by showing how through the decades of a long and productive career, Blake consistently responded to the ideas, writing, and art of contemporaries. Williams presents detailed readings of several of Blake's major poems alongside Rousseau's Emile, Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women, Paine's Rights of Man, Burke's Reflections of the Revolution in France, and Robert Owen's Utopian experiments. In doing so, he offers revealing new insights into key Blake texts and draws attention to their inclusion of notions of social determinism, theories of ideology-critique and utopian traditions. Williams argues that if we are truly to understand ideology as it relates to Blake, we must understand the practical situation in which the ideological Blake found himself. His study is a revealing commentary on the work of one of our most challenging poets.

"His discussion of Blake and gender, his comparison of the Blakean view of history to Burkean historiography, and his placing of Blake's apocalyptic works and his Jerusalem in critical juxtaposition to The Rights of Man and to Robert Owens's experiments in early socialism allow us to read Blake in a context that is all too often ignored in Blake studies." Joseph W. Childers

List of figures
Note on the text and list of abbreviations
Blake, ideology and utopia: strategies for change
The ideology of instruction in Emile and Songs of Innocence and of Experience
The discourse of women's liberation in Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Europe and Visions of the Daughters of Albion
Edmund Burke and models of history in America, The Song of Los and The Four Zoas
The utopian moment in Rights of Man and Milton
The utopian city and the public sphere in Robert Owen and Jerusalem
Conclusion: the function of utopianism at the present time
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521620505
ISBN-10: 0521620503
Series: Cambridge Studies in Romanticism
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 13th April 1998
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.57