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Dante’s ‘Deep and Woody Way’

  • Jeremy Tambling

Abstract

In autumn 1824, when beginning his Dante illustrations, Blake was living up a wainscotted staircase, in a two-roomed apartment in 3 Fountain Court on the south side of the Strand, surrounded by warehouses. From the back window he peered ‘down a deep gap between the houses of Fountain Court and the parallel street, in this way commanding a view of the Thames with its muddy banks, and of distant Surrey or Kent hills beyond’. While the river was ‘like a bar of gold’, Crabb Robinson referred to ‘the squalid air, both of the apartment and [Blake’s] dress’, and to the ‘dirt, I might say filth’ that Blake and his wife existed in (BR 564–7, SP 393). Here he worked — ‘too much attach’d to Dante to think of much else’ (letter to Linnell, 25 April 1827, E. 784, K. 879) — until his body, ‘the Machine’ (E. 778, K. 873), as though it, like the tyger, was part of an industrial manufacturing process, proved ‘incapable’ in August 1827.

Keywords

World City Paradise Lost Industrial Manufacturing Process National Ideology Chimney Sweep 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    The numbering of Albert S. Roe, Blake’s Illustrations to the Divine Comedy (Princeton: Princeton University Press 1953), referred to in the text as Roe, followed by page-number.Google Scholar
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© Jeremy Tambling 2005

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  • Jeremy Tambling

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