The British Library
homeHome  >   Online Gallery  >   Virtual books
   
print

The Notebook of William Blake - Folio N1b and N1

Image of Folio N1b and N1
Copyright © The British Library Board

N1b & N1

N1b
On Blake's death in 1827, the notebook was given by Blake's wife, Catherine, to William Palmer (brother of painter Samuel Palmer), who subsequently sold it to Dante Gabriel Rossetti for ten shillings on 30 April 1847. Rossetti's inscription on folio N1b tells us how he came to purchase the book, which was for many years commonly known as the 'Rossetti Manuscript'. After Rossetti's death, the notebook was sold at auction, eventually ending up in the possession of William Augustus White of Brooklyn, New York. After White's death in 1927, it was bequeathed to his daughter Mrs Frances Hillard Emerson, who presented it to the British Library in 1957, where it is listed as Additional Manuscript 49460.

N1
This poem dates from around 1800. It was written in response to the German poet Klopstock's declaration that the English language was incapable of epic poetic grandeur. In this verse Blake defiantly revels in his English tone: some of the language is reminiscent of an epic poem, while the subject matter is defiantly indelicate.

The poem has been written on top of illustrations attributed to Blake's brother, Robert. A Druid figure is visible in the centre of the folio, with four more Druids partially erased on the top left-hand side.


 
  < Introduction  
     
     

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

 
Accessibility Terms of use Site map
Copyright The British Library Board