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The following is a correction by Martin Butlin of a point made in his note on “William Blake in the Herbert P. Horne Collection,” Blake Newsletter 21 (Summer 1973), p. 19:
I gave the alternative datings for Moore & Co’s advertisement given by Keynes and David Bindman but regrettably failed to record the definitive arguments for dating the print, and hence the related drawing, to 1797-98 by David Erdman in his article “The Suppressed and Altered Passages in Blake’s Jerusalem,” in Studies in Bibliography, 17 (1964), 36, n. 34.
Although the figure style of this print is relatively tame in its delicacy and neoclassicism when one thinks of the dramatic impact of the large color prints of 1795, the style is perfectly acceptable in view of the commercial nature of the undertaking and considerably more accomplished than Blake’s earlier work for commercial engravings such as the illustrations to Mary Wollstonecroft of 1791. There are indeed close similarities, allowing for the differences in scale and subject, to some of the Night Thoughts illustrations of 1796-97, for instance the smaller figures on the title-page to Night the First.
That the crude drawing on the reverse can still be dated c. 1779 is no objection to a later dating for the recto. Thanks to Bentley, Blake’s economic re-use of paper is now well documented and there are a number of cases in which a sheet of paper has been used at widely differing dates, sometimes after being cut in half in the process (e.g., the drawing for “The Eagle” in the Rosenwald collection, on the back of which Blake drew two alternative title-page [?] designs considerably later in style).