1887. Edmonton: William Muir, 1887.
Folio, 17 plates, richly hand colored. Original printed wrappers dated September 1887, backstrip renewed, gilt top, fine.
§ Limited to fewer than 50 copies, this copy numbered #11 signed, priced and numbered by Muir. Based on three different copies (see below). With the frontispiece “The Ancient of Days,” which is perhaps Blake’s most famous image.
“The second of Blake’s “Continental Prophecies” (see also America and The Song of Los), Europe presents in mythopoeic form the fundamental philosophical positions in conflict in Blake’s revolutionary era. Historical events are reconfigured into their universalized representations through Blake’s own cast of characters, including Enitharmon, the female personification of fallen nature and history, Orc, the spirit of revolt, and Los and Urizen, the “Eternals” who would become central to Blake’s mythic system of the “Zoas.” These contending forces lead beyond political revolution to an apocalypse of biblical scope.” (Blake Archive). Europe survives in only fourteen known copies, few complete, all but one held by institutions. Bentley, BB, 249k1: “plates 1 and 4 are from originals in Mr. Muir’s possession [?copy c], plates 2, 5-6, and 8 are from copy D, and plate 7, 9-18 from copy A.” See also Bentley, Blake Books Supplement, pp.66-69. Item #109160