Biography of William Blake (1757-1827)

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William Blake (1757-1827) का जीवन-परिचय


William Blake was born at Board Street in Soho, London, England on 28 November 1757.

Father and Mother- 

His father’s name was James Blake and mother’s name was Catherine Blake. His mother’s full name was Catherine Wright Armitage Blake. His father was a draper (कपड़ा विक्रेता) from Westminster. She educated William at home, because he did not attend formal school in his childhood.

Early Life and Education- 

As you know he did not attend formal school long enough. When he was 12 years old, he was sent to ‘Henry Pars’ and admitted in drawing class. After that he apprenticed (काम सीखे) for drawing with an engraver (नक्कासी कार/ मूर्ती कलाकार) named James Basire. He had completed that apprentice in 1779, when he was 21 years old. After that he was admitted to Royal Academy, that was for Art’s schools of Design. He exhibited (प्रदर्शित किया) his own works here.


He was poet, artist, painter and engraver (नक्कासी कार/ मूर्ती कलाकार). He was a journeyman (कारीगर). He worked on several projects for books and printing for publishers.

Life History- 

William Blake is considered seminal (रचनात्मक) figure the history of the poetry, although he was unrecognized all through his life. He was well known for his visual-arts. Jonathan Jones said- “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced.” He was of idiosyncratic (विशेष स्वाभाव का), so some of his contemporaries (समकालीन) considered him as mad. When he was apprenticing he was sent to Westminster Abbey to copy images form the gothic churches. The deep study of Gothic left clear impact in his style and art.

Matrimonial (वैवाहिक) Life- 

He married with Catherine Sophia Boucher on August 18, in 1782. His wife was five years younger. She was illiterate. William taught her how to read, write draw and color. He trained her as an engraver. They worked together on his publications. Just after his marriage his first work that was the collection of poems ‘Poetical Sketches’ published privately in 1783

His Illuminated (प्रकाशयुक्त/ज्योतिर्मय) Printings- 

In 1788, William Blake experimented with a new method of engraving. He developed a method of ‘Illuminated Printing’ for the production of his publications. It was called relief etching. He produced most of his work such as books, paintings, pamphlets (पुस्तिका) and poems. In this method illustrations were drawn on copper plates in an impervious (अभेद्य/अप्रवेश्य) liquid that was acid-resistant, with pen and brushes, then the plain parts eaten away with acid. Later the prints were colored by hand. He has become very famous for his illuminated printing. His first illuminated work was ‘Natural Religion’ appeared in 1789. The second was ‘Song of Innocence’ in 1789. ‘Marriage of Heaven and Hell’ in 1790. And ‘Song if Experience’ in 1794.

He had worked on illustrations also for others such as-

John Milton’s – Paradise Lost

Geoffrey Chaucer’s- Canterbury tales

John Thornton’s- Virgil

His Prophetic (पैगम्बर का) Works- 

Blake has written many works on Prophetic theme as-

The Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793)

America a Prophecy (1793)

The Song of Experience (1794)

The First Book of Urizen (1794)

His Mythological (पौराणिक/मिथकीए) Universe- 

Blake’s mythology is based on ‘The Four Zoas (दैवीय शक्तियां) ‘ from the four aspects of Albion. The four Zoas name are as given below-

1-  ‘Tharmas’ that represent the body (instinct and strength) of Albion

2-  ‘Urizen’ that represent the mind (intellect and reason) of Albion

3-  ‘Lubah’ that represent the emotions (love and passion) of Albion

4-  ‘Urthona’ or Los that represent the spirit (imagination) of Albion

Albion was a primeval (आदिवासी/अतिप्राचीन) man

According to Ed Buryn- “Albion’s four parts or divine energies are called by Blake the Zoas and his entire mythology is about their interactions and their epic struggle to reunite.” It is said the Blake had derived the term (शब्द) from the Greek root for ‘Alive/living’ that means is eternal (शाश्वत) parts of man.

Each of the four Zoas has its female meaning also as-

1-  ‘Tharmas’ that represent the maternal (मातृक) Enion

2-  ‘Urizen’ that represent the celestial (आकाशीय) Ahania

3-  ‘Lubah’ that represent the seductive (कामोत्तेजक/मोहक) Vala

4-  ‘Urthona’ or Los that represent the musical (संगीत) Enitharmon

His Major Illuminated Works-

* All Religions are One (1788)

* There is No Natural Religion (1788)

* Songs of Innocence (1789)

* The Book of Thel (1789)

* The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-1793)

* Continental Prophecies (1793-1795)

* Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793)

* America a Prophecy (1793)

* Europe a Prophecy (1794)

* The First Book of Urizen (1794)

* Songs of Experience (1794)

* The Book of Los (1795)

* The Book of Ahania (1795)

* Milton a Poem (1804-1811)

* Jerusalem The Emanation of the Giant Albion (1804-1820)

His Non-illuminated Works-

* Poetical Sketches (1783)

* An Island in the Moon (1784) unfinished

* Tiriel (1789)

* The French Revolution (1791)

* A Song of Liberty (1792)

* The Four Zoas (1797) unfinished

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