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on 1 February 2012
William Blake (1757-1827), was an accomplished poet and outstanding artist whose relation with the divine often caused him to be rediculed by his peers and ignored by his contempories. Although holding the Christian Bible in high esteem, and considering it a source of deep spirituality, nevertheless, he found the established Church, as a religious institution, to be very limited in its appreciation of the presence of god. In this respect, Blake viewed the human imagination as a device for a personal communication with the divine, linking god's 'grace', (or 'presence'), as being manifest in the structures of artistic creation.

The paperback (1992) edition is arranged in numbered pages i-xxvii - and pages 1-27. There are 27 Plates, the originals, (including both text and designs) were etched by Blake himself, upon copperplates, before these plates were used to prodice printed copies. These copies were then visually enhanced by the adding water-colours. Blake referred to this kind of work as 'illuminated', and it is interesting to consider that only nine copies are known to exist. The original is believed to have been started in 1789 and finished in 1790. The copy reproduced in this book is from one of two original copies held in the Fitzwilliam Musuem, Cambridge:

Publisher's Note.
The text of The Marriage of Heaven and Earth.
The facsimule of the Illuminated Plates.
Commentary by Sir Geoffrey Keynes (1887-1982).

Keynes qualified from Cambridge, and trained as a surgeon. He was considered the foremost authority on the literary and artistic work of Blake, and through his efforts did much to bring Blake's work in the public awareness. In this book Keynes reproduces the original, beautiful text and illustrations created by Blake's hand, and adds an authorative commentary to each. On the last page Blake writes 'For everything that lives is holy'. An extraordinary book worthy of study.
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on 4 March 2013
I was disappointed to have paid for this to learn that is in in fact an excerpt, not the entire work.
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on 2 December 2001
Heaven and Hell is is one of the easier Blake books to read, something that is typical of his earlier work. Heaven and Hell shares many of the Milton'esque themes that Blake would develop later in his work. This book is worth a look if only for 'The Proverbs of Hell' and the Doors of Perception sections. The illuminated manuscript may be a bit of a shock to new readers of Blake, and really new readers should begin with Songs of Innocence and Experience anyway. Well worth buying if you're familiar with Blake's poetry, and worth pausing for a thought if you're not. The only problem really is that if you're a fan of Blake you don't really know which manuscript version that you're buying... but you'd have to be a hell of a fan to notice that much difference. I seem to remember something about this being the Oxford manuscript...
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on 14 January 2014
Always one of my personal favourites with Blake's illustrations and the text. Introduced an overseas colleague to Blake who was blown away by him - so this was an obvious Christmas gift. It went down very well indeed
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on 1 March 2001
This is a wonderful,lovingly illustrated book. Its vivid and biblical, and will give you an insight into Blake that few other books can. The angels of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction. Read it!
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on 18 September 2014
I got this as an extra source for my essay on Blake, but I bought it on Kindle and I have to say, the format of it is not great on Kindle, so I cannot recommend it, but I am guessing that a paperback version would be quite useful for those studying Blake.
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on 2 April 2016
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on 12 February 2015
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