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: Our Bodies, Their Battlefields by Christina Lamb

Updated 25 September 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Our Bodies, Their Battlefields by Christina Lamb

This is a searing account of women’s suffering during war time. 

Rape, Christina Lamb writes, is the “most neglected” war crime of the 1949 Geneva Convention. 

“The Rwandan conviction of Mayor Akaseyu, who himself was directly responsible for the rape and killing of Tutsis, is touted as the first war case where a high-profile person was punished along with rape charges,” said a review in goodreads.com. 

“Going further, the tales of atrocities committed by Serbians against the Bosnian muslims shows how neighbors and acquaintances take part in crime against women without any remorse,” said the review.

It added: “There are also narratives of the Rohingya women at Cox Bazaar, Bangladesh who had suffered hardships in the hands of the Burmese military.”

The review said: “In the wake of the #MeToo movement, rape crimes have begun to be treated seriously, however the author contends that conviction of such crimes during war time is still very minimal and serious steps are needed to overcome this mindset.”

It added: “The topic of war is usually associated with nationalism, military powers and strategies, while its tragic consequences are only measured in terms of the number of live lost.”