William Blake was born in 1757 near Golden Square, London, into a skilled working-class family, his father an artisan. In 1767 or 1768 he began to attend a drawing school in the Strand, run by Henry Parr, and this was the only formal schooling he was to receive; in 1772 he was apprenticed to James Basire, an engraver of some note, in order to begin a career in engraving, a difficult and complex skill which was to provide him with such limited financial security as he was ever able to obtain for the rest of his life. During the years of his apprenticeship he wrote his first poems, later known as the Poetical Sketches, some of which were conventionally eighteenth-century in topic and tone, others showing early evidence of the …
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Punter, David. "William Blake". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2001
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5182, accessed 21 April 2018.]