Blake’s “Catalogue” and Descriptive Criticism

By Megan Wilson

Blake’s A Descriptive Catalogue of Pictures is much more than a simple description of the paintings Blake had for sale in London, 1809. The first evidence is the prologue where Blake, or as he calls himself “Mr. B,” defends his methods of art against the likes of Titian, Correggio, Rubens, and Rembrandt. Despite his hostile tone, the prologue is an acceptable place for such a defense, and the reader may allow the commentary without taking much exception to it.

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Choice Tags and Attributes in “Blake’s Chaucer”

A few months ago, Hardeep wrote a blog post about the importance of the XML element <choice> in our manuscript encoding tag set. The main benefit is for the Blake Archive’s search function to allow users to search for regularized spellings of words that might be abbreviated or non-standardized in Blake’s manuscripts. For example, a user searching for “Tiger” would never be directed to “Tyger” without a choice tag attached to Blake’s non-standard spelling.

Last month, I began the transcription and encoding of a typographic work titled Blake’s Chaucer: The Canterbury Pilgrims. The work is a one-page printed advertisement for a [proposed] Blake engraving of Chaucerian characters, “in a correct and finished Line manner of Engraving, similar to those original Copper Plates of ALBERT DURER, LUCAS, HISBEN, ALDEGRAVE.” Of course, the Blake advertisement here is appealing to the fame of some historically relevant engravers, but the manuscript itself only refers to them in abbreviated/non-standard/anglicized forms.

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