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Dutton Adult

In her new novel, Burning Bright, she pursues similar themes, inspired this time by the poetry of William Blake. Like Vermeer, Blake struggled to make a living, and it was only after his death that the extent of his talents was fully appreciated. Blake was a religious visionary and mystic, a supporter of free love and an outspoken critic of the political reaction in England to the French revolution, and his views were regarded, during his lifetime, as at best eccentric and by many as downright treasonable. It is not difficult to understand his appeal to the historical novelist. As in her earlier novel, Chevalier has chosen to focus not on the artist himself but upon those who observe and admire him. -C. Clark