William Hayley


Toe the Line: Defining (Part 1)

One of the main ways that we organize Blake Archive works while encoding is through “line groups”, an element represented by <lg> in our BADs (Blake Archive Description). Here’s the formal definition from our documentation:

<lg>. This element identifies line groups–i.e., blocks of text on the object, such as stanzas or paragraphs. For verse, simply use <lg>, but for prose text (i.e., not poetry), use the type with value “prose”: e.g., <lg type=”prose”>.

As BAND has been preparing typographic works for publication, we have encountered a number of new transcription, display and encoding problems related to “secondary text” (discussed most recently by Eric here and Megan here) including one that questions the status of our beloved <lg>. So, riddle me this Ye Transcription Gods, if poetry is <lg> and prose  is <lg type=”prose”>, then what is text that is neither poetry nor prose? For example, most of our typographic works include a running header across the top of the page, how should we categorize that?

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This Day In Blake History: Gossip!

Over the past year, the Archive’s publication of existing Blake letters has offered a unique perspective on the personal history of Blake, which complements the view his professional character through his numerous illustrations and engravings.

To this point, the Blake Archive has published two batches of letters, with a third on the way in the coming months.

Working with and reading the letters, we often get a cheap thrill in the office by joking about what Blake was doing on a particular day a couple hundred years ago. (Yes, we realize how sad this is.) More often than not, Blake is pretty damn cold.

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Blake’s Letters: New Connections between Works in the Archive

The exciting recent publication of Blake’s illustrations of works by William Hayley helps to present a much fuller picture of the period from about 1800-1805 in Blake’s career, which included his conflicted personal and professional associations with Hayley, his only extended sojourn outside of London to a cottage in Felpham, and the episode of his trial for sedition. During this time, Blake’s personal, social, aesthetic, and professional interests intersect through his extensive work for Hayley and in the correspondence though which they planned and discussed these illustrations. At the moment, we are preparing a second installment of letters that will help to augment the resources available within the Archive for exploring this fascinating period in Blake’s life. We are pleased to be able to make these materials available in multiple ways for users, who we hope will benefit from the multiple ways we have prepared for them to search and browse Blake’s works and papers in the Archive.

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Publication Announcement – Blake’s illustrations to works by William Hayley

The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of electronic editions of Blake’s illustrations to works by William Hayley, including his Essay on Sculpture, the broadside ballad Little Tom the Sailor, The Triumphs of Temper, The Life and Posthumous Writings of William Cowper, and The Life of George Romney. We are also republishing Blake’s etched and engraved illustrations to Designs to a Series of Ballads, Written by William Hayley (1802) and Hayley’s Ballads (1805). The designs and engraved texts of both sets of Ballads illustrations, as well as the new material now being published, are fully searchable.

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