William Blake's Influence Of The French Revolution

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4.1. William Blake
William Blake was born on 28 November 1757 in a modest family of hardworking parents, third of six children. He was an engraver, painter, visionary and lastly, an underrated poet at that time. Since an early age, he was interested in visual art and blessed with drawing talent, which his parents, fortunately, recognized and sent him to drawing apprenticeship. Later, in his twenties, he attended the Royal Academy of Arts in London where he had the opportunity to get formal training and annual exhibitions (Krueger, 2003). Blake, as a professional engraver, led a print shop with his wife Catherine where he had introduced a revolutionary engraving technique called relief etching. Blake used it for the first time in his collection of poems for children, Songs of Innocence in 1789, and in the expanded collection Songs of Innocence and Experience five years later in which he presented his talented illustrations incorporated with lyrical poems intended to change the world. His poems were unconventional and untypical, they were not purely instructional and educational, as literature of that time was. Blake
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William Blake was, of course, one of them, indirectly trying to influence the political authorities and society, in general, to change the laws on children’s working obligations and rights by subtle writings and illustrations. “During the latter half of his long life the whole world was in turmoil of wars and bloody revolutions. The prophetic spirit in poetry was despised and neglected. [...] Politics had become a selfish gamble for power in which the interests and lives of the people were ruthlessly sacrificed. The organized churches were, in Blake's mind, and perhaps truly, the greatest curse of the age” (Clarke, 1929, p.
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