William Blake gained gradual critical recognition during the final decades of the nineteenth century, in large part thanks to his biographer Alexander Gilchrist and his editors Ellis and Yeats, while the first major contribution to Blake criticism was the long essay published by Algernon Charles Swinburne in 1868.1 Blake’s fame continued to grow throughout the first half of the twentieth century, and he attracted an increasing amount of critical attention. However, the most significant contributions to Blake scholarship, in the early part of the century, came from the editorial work of Dr John Sampson (1905), Sir Geoffrey Keynes (1925), and Sloss and Wallis (1926);2 the boost to interpretation of the designs given by Joseph Wicksteed’s commentary on Blake’s Vision of the Book of Job (1910); and the biography by Mona Wilson (The Life of William Blake, 1927) which remained the standard account of his life for a long time.
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