See A Blakean Archive for specific events and articles relating to William Blake’s life, work and influence – as well as the full set of Finding Blake blog posts.
On this page, we feature sources of information, discussion and creative response which you might like to explore as you set about Finding Blake for yourself. Do use the Contact page to let us know of any Blake resources you find somewhere and we have missed!
William Blake – the man, the work, the legacy
The Blake Society — a registered charity — brings together amateurs and professionals, enthusiasts and scholars on equal terms. Members have been meeting regularly in London since 1985. Speakers include musicians, artists, writers, radicals, and mystics. Its site features news, events and publications, as well as information on the Blakes’ cottage in Felpham and William Blake’s burial site at Bunhill Fields in London. The Blake Society YouTube channel has many short and long films.
As you would expect, Wikipedia provides good coverage of William Blake’s life, views and works, as well as links to Wikipedia articles on many of his books and illustrations, and an extensive bibliography of books about him. The essential place to start, and Finding Blake makes no attempt to replicate this resource!
You can find out about some of William and Catherine’s life in Felpham in Sussex at the site of Blake’s Cottage, which is run by the Blake Cottage Trust. And there is a highly imaginative virtual tour of the cottage — illustrated with Blake’s own images; follow this link from the Blake Fest 2017 website, and when you’re in the cottage garden click on the angelic guide, who will take you inside and show you around. Use the controls to take in the panoramic views inside and out and read the notes.
Blake in Sussex is a new film project exploring the Blakes’ turbulent three years outside of London, written and directed by Matt Wilmshurst, a London and Sussex based filmmaker and visual effects artist; “We are on a quest to make a film that Blake deserves, to show our love for him and his far-reaching influence. Expect things to get manic, dark and strange.”
Friends of William Blake is an informal, independent organisation whose members share an admiration for the man’s works. Their core aims are to: campaign for the new memorial at the exact location of William Blake’s grave; raise awareness of his work and various historical sites related to his life; seek support from the local authorities owning these sites to commemorate Blake, his life and works; provide opportunities to view his work, visit the historical sites and have discussions on a regular basis.
The British Library, unsurprisingly, has a digital shedload of Blake material on their site. Enter his name into the search bar and behold!
The Blake Archive is a contemporary response to the needs of readers and viewers of William Blake’s works, and of the collections where his original works are currently held. It contains many digital editions of Blake’s original works, as well as digital editions of the journal Blake, An Illustrated Quarterly.
Zoamorphosis: The Blake 2.0 Blog is a site created by Jason Whittaker, Head of the School of English and Journalism at the University of Lincoln, from his research on the reception of William Blake, how he has been used by artists, writers and other figures in the post-war period). “Blake 2.0 is also concerned with the ‘second life’ – virtual and otherwise – of Blake, and this site offers new ways to present information about the artist’s works as well as encouraging innovative thinking about how we can engage with those original illustrations and texts.”
On the Friends of William Blake site, you can find the location of Blake’s grave in Bunhill Fields, London and watch a film about its discovery. The site also has the designs for the new grave site — which has been commissioned by the Blake Society and is being executed now by Lida Kindersley MBE, with the gravestone cutting and placing being filmed as part of our Finding Blake project by James Murray-White.
You can also download a pdf book of the book, William Blake’s Final Resting Place (2009), written by Luis and Carol Garrido.
William Blake’s art is on display at many locations around the world. Here are a few of the main permanent collections:
The William Blake Gallery (San Francisco) is an exhibition space dedicated to works created by this massively influential 19th-century poet, artist, and engraver.
The Met Museum (New York) has many Blake pieces on display or in store. Many of its images are Public Domain.
The Royal Academy (London) has 30 or so Blake artworks in its collection, including The Reunion of the Soul and the Body, and The Elephant.
Tate (London) has over 180 William Blake artworks online (only a few of them on display at Tate galleries). Tate Britain has 34 works by or responding to Blake on display in their Blake Room, including The Ghost of a Flea, and Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils.
The Yale Center for British Art (New Haven, Connecticut) is a public art museum and research institute that houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. Presented to the university by Paul Mellon, the collection reflects the development of British art and culture from the Elizabethan period onward.
Poetry Foundation has a dozen or so of Blake’s poems online as well as a few audio files (including a podcast, Bard Goes Country: A Discussion of Allen Ginsberg Singing Blake’s ‘The Garden of Love’, and readings of ‘Mary‘, and ‘The Tyger‘) and other resources.
Poem Hunter also has a large selection of Blake’s poems, as well as short quotations from some of his letters and his poems (”The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction”).
Poets.org is another site with a good selection of Blake poems.
Creative responses to Blake
Blake Remixed: acclaimed British rapper and beatboxer Testamant — who features in one of Finding Blake’s early film clips — has created a whole project celebrating Blake as one of the greatest counter-cultural voices in British history. Blake Remixed fuses music and storytelling with a live DJ and interactive video, and “brings cutting social insight to a coming of age story with a difference.” The project features theatre, music, spoken word performance and an education programme.