Swinburne and Gilchrist's biography of Blake

Anthony H. Harrison, Professor of English, North Carolina State University

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Note 5, chapter 2, in the author's Swinburne's Medievalism: A Study in Victorian Love Poetry which Louisiana State University Press published in 1979. It has been included in the Victorian web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright.


On October 6, 1862, Swinburne rejected an offer to compose a commentary on Blake's poems for the biography by Alexander Gilchrist, whose premature death had thrust the job of supervising publication into William Michael Rossetti's hands. Swinburne in this letter outlines his plan to write "this . . . year a distinct small commentary of a running kind as full and satisfactory as it could well be made, on Blake's work" (Letters, I, 60).


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Last updated: June 2000