Why Famous: Largely unrecognised and often considered a lunatic during his lifetime the visionary poet engraver and painter William Blake is now considered the first poet of the Romantic age and one of the finest English artists and engravers.
Blake's most famous collections are "Songs of Innocence" (1789) and its follow-up "Songs of Experience" (1794), he illustrated both with engravings. The later work included Blake's most famous poem "The Tyger".
Throughout his work Blake drew on the work of the Bible and his own mystical visions.
In 1916 Blake's poem "And did those feet in ancient time" was put to music by composer Sir Hubert Parry. Now known now as "Jerusalem" it is considered an English anthem.
- 1782-08-18 Romantic Age poet and artist William Blake (24) marries Catherine Boucher (19) in St. Mary's Church, Battersea, London
- 1772-08-04 English poet and artist William Blake aged 14 is first apprenticed to engraver James Basire in London
- 1779-10-08 English engraver and poet William Blake begins study at the Royal Academy, Old Somerset House, London
- 1916-03-28 First performance of "Jerusalem" by George Parry set to words by William Blake at a 'Fight for Right' meeting at the Queen’s Hall, London
- "I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow."