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The Notebook of William Blake - Folio N115 and N114

Image of Folio N115 and N114
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N115 & N114

N115 was the last page of the notebook. In the early 1790s, Blake turned the book over, and began to transcribe fair copies of poems originally drafted elsewhere, many of which appeared in Songs of Experience. For ease of reading we have inverted the pages between folios N115 and N98.

Of over 50 poems in the back of the notebook, 18 were eventually selected for Songs of Experience. On these two folios we see versions of 'The Clod & the Pebble', 'The Garden of Love', 'My Pretty Rose Tree', 'The Human Abstract' and 'A Poison Tree', all of which are included in Experience. It is assumed that Blake had already been working on some of these verses and intended to make fair copies in the notebook. But, ever the revisionist, it is clear that he could not resist further reworking, as we see from the number of times he strikes through lines and rewrites them.

We have used the published version for the reading of this poem 'My Pretty Rose Tree' from Songs of Experience for the audio.

The faint sketch -barely visible- underneath the verses on folio N114 is thought to stem from an earlier project (later aborted) to illustrate an edition of 'Paradise Lost'. It appears to show the swarming Satanic host, and bears similarities to a 1793 painting by Henry Fuseli.


 
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This version of Turning the Pages does not require the Shockwave plug-in. It foregoes the interactive animation that lets you 'virtually' turn pages and brings you the same high-quality images of our greatest books in standard web pages.

You can listen to the audio files on these pages with Windows Media Player

 
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