The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the republication of nine electronic editions of Blake’s water colors illustrating the works of John Milton:

“Comus,” Thomas Set, 1801
“Comus,” Butts Set, c. 1815
“On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity,” Thomas Set, 1809
“On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity,” Butts Set, c. 1815
“Paradise Lost,” Thomas Set, 1807
“Paradise Lost,” Butts Set, 1808
“Paradise Lost,” Linnell Set, 1822
“Paradise Regained” c. 1816-20
“L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso” c. 1816-20

These nine water color series were previously published in our Preview mode, one that provides all the features of the Archive except illustration descriptions and Image Search; with this republication, those features become available.

The republication of the Milton water colors is timed to take advantage of the Archive’s revamped search engines, launched in July, which allow for more detailed, specific and reliable searching of illustration descriptions, and the Virtual Lightbox, our new digital tool that allows users to examine images side by side, as well as to crop, zoom, and juxtapose them for close study. It is the ideal means for studying and comparing Blake’s Milton watercolors. The republication of these nine series represents a major advance toward the Archive’s goal of eventually republishing all works currently available in Preview mode and publishing all new Archive images so that they are searchable.

As always, the William Blake Archive is a free site, imposing no access restrictions and charging no subscription fees. The site is made possible by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the University of Rochester, the continuing support of the Library of Congress, and the cooperation of the international array of libraries and museums that have generously given us permission to reproduce works from their collections in the Archive.

Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors
Ashley Reed, project manager, William Shaw, technical editor
The William Blake Archive