This Day In Blake History: Gossip!

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By Eric Loy

William Blake to William Hayley

Over the past year, the Archive’s publication of existing Blake letters has offered a unique perspective on the personal history of Blake, which complements the view his professional character through his numerous illustrations and engravings.

To this point, the Blake Archive has published two batches of letters, with a third on the way in the coming months.

Working with and reading the letters, we often get a cheap thrill in the office by joking about what Blake was doing on a particular day a couple hundred years ago. (Yes, we realize how sad this is.) More often than not, Blake is pretty damn cold.

But being that the spring warmth is finally in the air, I thought it might be safe to revisit Blake on this day in history, to a letter from May 28, 1804. This particular letter survives through William Gilchrist’s 1808 Life of William Blake, which accounts for the type (rather than script) you see below.

So what’s Blake up to?

Well, as you can see, he’s writing to good ol’ William Hayley about some popular reading …read more