The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake


This is a hand-coloured facsimile, made in 1868, of William Blake’s original and undated work The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, probably created in 1790. 

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is an innovative and highly personal publication, the design of which is similar to that of his poems Songs of Innocence and of Experience and his prophetic books. The content develops Blake’s view of the spiritual cosmos. Through the voice of the Devil and through the Proverbs of Hell, he comments on the ideas of the Swedish mystic Swedenborg, and inverts the power relation between God and Satan in John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667). He develops the idea that the sensual world can lead to the spiritual, and that the repression of desire destroys the spirit – ‘The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction’. 'A Song of Liberty' at the end of the book calls for revolt against the tyrannies of church and state.

Full title:
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. (A song of Liberty.) [Text and illustrations by William Blake. A hand-coloured facsimile of the original undated edition.]
estimated 1868, London
Book / Print / Illustration / Image
William Blake
Usage terms:
Public Domain
Held by:
British Library

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