3. A Fugitive or Apocryphal Blake Engraving
According to the British Museum Print Room accessions records, on 9 July 1859 Messrs Evans sold to the Print Room a Blake engraving of “The World before the Flood. Canto 7. page 136,” which evidently formed the “Frontispiece to The Minor’s[?] Pocket Book. 1814.”
No such print is known to Blake scholars. The title suggests that the work is an ephemeral publication, which may account for the fact that it does not appear in the catalogues of major libraries. Unfortunately, the print itself cannot now be traced in the British Museum Print Room; perhaps it has been reattributed in the last century and is now filed under another name. The fact that the entry in the Print Room accessions records was made in 1859, when Blake’s reputation was still moribund, suggests that the cataloguer was not merely associating the engraving with a well-known name and that he may have had some information such as an inscription on which to base his attribution. However, until someone can locate a copy of The Minor’s Pocket Book, we will have to presume that the cataloguer was in error.