Blake’s ‘Auguries of Innocence’ as/in Radical Animal Politics, c.1800

  • Anne MilneEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)


In this chapter, Milne highlights Blake’s engagement with the animal welfare issues of his day by demonstrating how ‘Auguries of Innocence’ not only enacts an inclusive and anti-speciesist dynamic but encourages activism. Milne surveys critical responses that link Blake’s artistry to an anti-cruelty politics and reads ‘Auguries’ alongside animal representations by Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Sarah Trimmer, Helen Maria Williams, and John Thelwall. Milne also examines Blake’s poem through an animal studies theoretical lens showing that Blake goes beyond evoking the ‘sincere sympathy’ for animals so popular in his time. Rather, he promotes the reanimation of the world, activates a sensual recalibration, and achieves what Broglio and Nash call ‘difference without assimiliation’.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Toronto ScarboroughTorontoCanada

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