William Blake: The Book of Thel (1371 words)


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William Blake completed The Book of Thel between his publication of the Songs of Innocence (1789) and the Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1793). Dated 1789 on the title page, but etched on eight copper plates between 1789 and 1790, The Book of Thel dramatizes the journey of the virgin Thel from a state of innocence to a state of experience. It is the first of Blake’s illuminated books to be written in fourteeners, the meter he used for most of his narrative poetry, and it is one of the earliest works to evidence the complex mythological system he constructed for his prophetic writings. Scholars have traced eighteen individually colored printings of The Book of Thel (1789-90; 1795?, 1818?); in …

Citation: Linkin, Harriet. "The Book of Thel". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 January 2012 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1409, accessed 18 June 2021.]

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