begin page 148 | back to top

THE LEAST BLAKE

Poetry of William Blake. Winterport, Maine: Borrower’s Press, 1978. 34 pp., no plates.

This little work seems to have been overlooked in the bibliographies of Blake in Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly, the MLA annual bibliography, The Romantic Movement bibliography, and elsewhere. The reason for such oversight is plain enough, for it is only the size of a thumb-nail: 5/8″ × 3/4″ (1.5 × 2.0 cm.), and it is “limited to 300 numbered, signed copies,” according to the colophon.

The contents are moderately straightforward; an anonymous “Introduction” (pp. 5-6) and “many” (nine) poems from the Songs. The “Introduction” says, on the whole truly enough, that the text “retains his archaic spelling and unconventional capitalization where possible.” The second most striking feature of the tiny text, however, is the way it has been abbreviated. The title and the word “I” in l. 18 have dropped out of the “Introduction” to Innocence, and half of “Infant Joy,” the second stanza, has disappeared.

The price of the work, at least the price paid for it to an antiquarian bookseller (£29 = about $70), may make it the most expensive uncolored literary work by Blake per square centimeter ever sold—68¢/cm2. It is far beyond the Blake Trust facsimiles and even surpasses uncolored Blake originals; Songs of Innocence and of Experience copy h, which sold for $15,000 in 1981, comes to only 47¢ per square centimeter.

Print Edition

  • Publisher
  • Department of English, University of New Mexico
  • Albuquerque, NM, USA
    • Editors
    • Morris Eaves
    • Morton D. Paley
    • Editorial Assistant in Charge
    • Marcy Erickson
    • Editorial Assistants
    • Wayne Erickson
    • George Hartley
    • Wendy Jones
    • Typist
    • Denise Warren
    • Bibliographer
    • Thomas L. Minnick
    • Review Editor
    • Nelson Hilton
    • Associate Editor for Great Britain
    • Frances A. Carey
    • Contributors
    • G.E. Bentley, Jr.
    • Martin Butlin
    • Greg Crossan
    • Detlef Dörrbecker
    • Michael Ferber
    • Thomas V. Lange
    • Bo Ossian Lindberg
    • Donald H. Reiman
    • Joseph S. Salemi

    Digital Edition

    • Editors:
    • Morris Eaves, University of Rochester
    • Robert Essick, University of California, Riverside
    • Joseph Viscomi, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Managing Editor
    • Joe Fletcher
    • Assistant Editor Editor
    • Michael Fox
    • Previous Project Manager and Technical Editor
    • William Shaw
    • Adam McCune
    • Managing Editor Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly
    • Sarah Jones
    • Project Director and Assistant Project Manager
    • Grant Glass
    • Project Coordinator, University of Rochester:
    • Eric Loy
    • Scanning:
    • UNC Digital Production Center
    • XML Encoding:
    • Apex CoVantage
    • Additional Transcription:
    • Adam McCune
    • Jennifer Park
    • Emendations:
    • Rachael Isom
    • Mary Learner
    • Adam McCune
    • Ashley Reed
    • Jennifer Park
    • Scott Robinson
    • XSLT Development:
    • Adam McCune
    • Joseph Ryan
    • William Shaw
    • PHP and Solr Development:
    • Michael Fox
    • Adam McCune
    • Project Assistants:
    • Lauren Cameron,
    • Rachael Isom,
    • Mary Learner,
    • Jennifer Park,
    • Ashley Reed,
    • Adair Rispoli,
    • Scott Robinson
    • Sponsors
    • Funders
    • Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly
    • William Blake Archive
    • Carolina Digital Library and Archives
    • Use Restrictions
    • Copyright © 2019 Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly, all rights reserved. Items in this digital edition may be shared in accordance with the Fair Use provisions of U.S. copyright law. Redistribution or republication on other terms, in any medium, requires express written consent from the editors and advance notification of the publisher. Permission to reproduce the graphic images in this digital edition rests with the owning institutions.