Publication Announcement – Songs of Innocence copies I, X, and Z

By Andrea H. Everett

The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of electronic editions of Songs of Innocence copies I, X, and Z from the Huntington Library and Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich. They join copies B from the Library of Congress, G from the Yale Center for British Art, L from the Bodleian Library, and U from the Houghton Library.

Blake etched the plates of Songs of Innocence in relief, with white-line work in some designs, on thirty-one plates in 1789, the date on the title page. In 1794, for the first copies of the combined Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Blake moved “The Little Girl Lost” and “The Little Girl Found” (plates 34-36) from Innocence to Experience. He moved “The School Boy” and “The Voice of the Ancient Bard” (plates 53, 54) from Innocence to Experience in the last eight copies of Songs. Hence, Innocence evolved from its earliest autonomous copies with thirty-one plates to its last iteration as a twenty-six-plate section in the combined Songs.

In Innocence copy I, all thirty-one plates were printed in green and light blue inks, with several intermediate hues, on both sides of …read more