1868. London: John Camden Hotten, 1868.
4to, 27 hand-colored plates over lithographs, printed on paper replicating Blake’s original supply. Original quarter green morocco and red cloth boards, good with occasional pages foxed or spotted as usual in this edition but the coloring in reasonably good condition.
§ The first facsimile of a Blake book (excepting only a few selections in monochrome in Gilchrist’s first edition of the Life of Blake 1863). Limited to 150 copies, this facsimile is rarely found in acceptable condition as the watercolor usually turns almost black and the paper tends to fox badly. In this copy the foxing is almost completely absent from the images though quite noticeable in the margins and at the front and back. The facsimile is from copy F, now at the Pierpont Morgan Library. The limitation is derived from Hotten’s ledger sheets as cited by Paley (Hotten, Swinburne, and the Blake Facsimiles of 1868... NYPL, 1976.). Bentley, BB, 99. Keynes 210.
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. “This book is Blake’s Principia, in which he announced a new concept of the universe.” (Damon, Blake Dictionary). “Through the voice of the “Devil,” Blake parodies and attacks the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg, the cosmology and ethics of Milton’s Paradise Lost, and biblical history and morality as constructed by the “Angels” of the established church and state. Energy and passion are positively valorized; reason and temperance are characterized as restraints on spiritual insight and self-expression. The concluding three plates (25-27), “A Song of Liberty,” announce the coming revolution.” (The Blake Archive). Item #122886