William Blake: A Study of His Life and Art Work

You may be interested in William Blake: A Study of His Life and Art Work by Irene Langridge, a newly released book, available via Project Gutenberg:

“Some years ago, I became deeply interested in William Blake, and made myself familiar with all that our public collections in London contain of his art-work. It seemed to me that this work was still so little known and appreciated by the public, that a short book might well be written to serve as a pointer to our national Blake treasures. The standard works on Blake—Gilchrist’s Life, Mr. A. C. Swinburne’s Critical Essay, Messrs. Ellis and Yeats’ exhaustive volumes, and Mr. W. M. Rossetti’s Aldine Essay—are of great literary excellence and high critical quality, and must ever remain the great authorities on the subject; but, owing to these works being either out of print, very lengthy, very expensive, or unillustrated, a want may be supplied by, and an opportunity of usefulness open to, such a book as the present one. Different in scope as it is from any other book on Blake, and modest in aim, it deals with the poet-artist as he is manifested in those works of his which are accessible to the public.

In seeking to sketch again his artistic personality, I have been guided by the conclusions of his eminent biographers and critics wherever they coincided with my own intuitive convictions. But in the study of a character and work so out of the usual, so exotic and strange as those of Blake, unanimity of opinion and judgement is hardly to be hoped for, and the variety of points of view from which each new student sees him, may assist to the rounding and filling out of the portrait drawn in so masterly a manner in the first instance by Alexander Gilchrist.”