The History of Literature #416 – William Blake vs the World (with John Higgs)

In his lifetime, the Romantic poet and engraver William Blake (1757-1827) was barely known and frequently misunderstood. Today, his genius is widely celebrated and his poems are some of the most famous in the English language – and yet we still struggle to comprehend his unique way of seeing the world. In this episode, Blakean biographer John Higgs, author of the new book William Blake vs. the Worldjoins Jacke to discuss Blake’s life, art, and visions.

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The History of Literature #203 – William Blake


Jacke takes a look at the astonishing life and works of William Blake (1757-1827), a poet, painter, engraver, illustrator, visionary, and one of the key figures of the Romantic Period. How did the boy who saw God’s head in a window at age four become the man who wrote the most anthologized poem in English (“The Tyger”) AND perhaps the most brilliant and innovative visual artist that England has ever produced? We discuss all that and more!

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Music Credits:

“Magistar” and “Wholesome” by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License