William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

is one of the most audacious works in William Blake’s early production. Blake completed all the 27 plates that compose the book in 1790, printing most of the extant copies in that year. In the mid-1790s he produced three more copies; in 1818 and 1827 he worked on other two richly illuminated versions. Blakean philologist Joseph Viscomi has proved that plates 21-4 had been cut out from the same piece of copper and were probably produced as a separate anti-Swedenborgian pamphlet before he began working on the rest of the book. An early copy of the

Marriage

consists in fact only of these four plates. It is likely that Blake intended to write a series of independent pamphlets as a preliminary project, that once combined together would constitute his “Bible…

2304 words

Citation: Volpone, Annalisa. "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 June 2013 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=232, accessed 26 February 2024.]

232 The Marriage of Heaven and Hell 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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