Beastly Blake pp 203-223 | Cite as

‘Train of Elephants’: Blake’s (Un)Tamed Beasts and Hayley’s Animal Ballads

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


Crosby examines William Blake’s original engraved designs to William Hayley’s animal ballads (1802 and 1805 editions), particularly the depiction of elephants, eagles, lions and crocodiles that concomitantly draw on and subvert contemporary Eurocentric graphic representations of animals. Crosby argues that Blake’s engravings and their placement within the text destabilised Hayley’s use of the ballad commission as a vehicle for patronage. Rather, the ballad commission provided Blake with an opportunity to articulate pictorially his frustration with the two dominant forms of patronage of the period: the private patron and the marketplace.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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