Ignored during his lifetime, the artist and poet William Blake is now a literary institution. How did this reversal come about? How did a republican, dissident printer, who was considered insane by his contemporaries, become transformed into an icon?
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The author Peter Ackroyd, Blake’s latest biographer, is the guide as this program explores late-Georgian London: a world of political ferment and religious dispute, where the winds of revolution were blowing across the sea from America and France and a mad king sat on the English throne. The program examines Blake’s artistic achievement and assesses his continuing appeal.