1969. London: Trianon Press, 1969.
Folio, 17 colour and one monochrome facsimile leaves and 9 pp of commentary by Sir Geoffrey Keynes. Very fine in quarter brown morocco over marbled boards in slipcase, as issued.
§ Copy #313 from an edition limited to 526 copies including 20 de luxe copies numbered I-XX, 480 regular copies numbered 1-480 and 25 copies lettered A-Z reserved for Mrs Landon Thorner, Lord Cunliffe, the Trustees of the William Blake Trust and the publishers. Bentley, BB, 34. Bentley, BB, 34: “reproduces copy B (pl. 2, 6, 13-15, 17-18), copy G (pl. 1, 4-5, 7-12,16) and copy K (pl. 3).The frontispiece (“The Ancient of Days”) is surely Blake’s most famous single image.
"The second of Blake's "Continental Prophecies" [preceded by America and followed by 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." (The William Blake Archive). At the end is reproduced an extra etched leaf of text that Blake only included in two copies, which tell of a fairy that Blake caught who sang him a song about the five senses of man.
Europe survives in only fourteen known copies, few complete, all but one held by institutions. The remarkable Blake Trust Trianon Press facsimiles, hand-colored using pochoir with extraordinary fidelity, are for most of us the nearest possible thing to handling the original book. Martin Butlin noted in the Blake Quarterly: “The long list of color facsimiles produced by the Trianon Press under Arnold Fawcus for the William Blake Trust were above all objects of beauty, recreating as near to perfection as possible Blake’s original achievements.” Bentley, Blake Books, 34. Item #123970