What We Are Reading Today: William Blake

Updated 31 October 2019

What We Are Reading Today: William Blake

Authors: Martin Myrone and Amy Concannon

William Blake (1757–1827) created some of the most iconic images in the history of art. He was a countercultural painter whose personal struggles, technical innovations, and revelatory vision have inspired generations of artists. This marvelously illustrated book explores the biographical, artistic, and political contexts that shaped Blake’s work, and demonstrates why he was a singularly gifted visual artist with renewed relevance for us today, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

The book explores Blake’s relationship with the art world of his time and provides new perspectives on his craft as a printmaker, poet, watercolorist, and painter. It makes sense of the profound historical forces with which he contended during his lifetime, from revolutions in America and France to the dehumanizing effects of industrialization. 

Readers gain incomparable insights into Blake’s desire for recognition and commercial success, his role as social critic, his visionary experience of London, his hatred of empire, and the bitter disappointments that drove him to retire from the world in his final years.  

 


What We Are Reading Today: Revolutionary Lives

Updated 10 August 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Revolutionary Lives

Author: Lauren Arrington

Constance Markievicz (1868–1927), born to the privileged Protestant upper class in Ireland, embraced suffrage before scandalously leaving for a bohemian life in London and then Paris. She would become known for her roles as politician and Irish revolutionary nationalist.
Her husband, Casimir Dunin Markievicz (1874–1932), a painter, playwright, and theater director, was a Polish noble who would eventually join the Russian imperial army to fight on behalf of Polish freedom during World War I.
Revolutionary Lives offers the first dual biography of these two prominent European activists and artists.
Tracing the Markieviczes’ entwined and impassioned trajectories, biographer Lauren Arrington sheds light on the avant-garde cultures of London, Paris, and Dublin, and the rise of anti-imperialism at the turn of the 20th century.
Drawing from new archival material, including previously untranslated newspaper articles, Arrington explores the interests and concerns of Europeans invested in suffrage, socialism, and nationhood.