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Page from 'The marriage of heaven and hell', by William Blake


This illuminated printed book contains Blake's reactions to the political and religious issues that emerged in the wake of the French Revolution. It is still within its original white vellum binding, made for John Linnell, who bought the copy on 30 April 1821 for two pounds, two shillings. The Fitzwilliam’s large collection of works by Blake, many once belonging to Blake’s friends or important patrons, is the second only to the collections of the national museums in London (there are three complete copies of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, for instance). Its stature was considerably enhanced in 1985 by the acquisition of the collection of the eminent Blake scholar Sir Geoffrey Keynes.