University of North Georgia, Gainesville
Given Blake’s assertion that “Gothic is Living Form” and the clearly Gothic visual elements of Blake’s oeuvre, such as the hunched skeleton of The [First] Book of Urizen that graces the cover of this book, it is a mystery why there has yet to be a book-length study of Blake and the Gothic until now. A collection of essays, William Blake’s Gothic Imagination represents, as the editors claim, the “first sustained and focused treatment of Blake as a Gothic artist, taking ‘Gothic’ in the fullest sense of that term” (18). The chapters “offer a space for concentration on some of the intersections of Blake with the Gothic,” including its aesthetic, political, philosophical, and psychological manifestations (18).
The book is divided into four parts: Blake’s innovations on Gothic concepts, the body, the body via the visual elements of Blake’s work, and sexuality. Grouping the chapters is a good...more