William Blake (1757-1827) was one of the strangest and most difficult to categorize of eighteenth century British literary figures. We are not even sure that “literary figure” correctly describes him, since it was as an illustrator that he primarily earned his bread.
He came from humble origins as the son of a London hosier. From early youth he was haunted by religious and demonic visions. He claimed to have seen angels, gods, and spirits beginning at the age of four, and thereafter enjoyed a close association with the supernatural.
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