The Book of Urizen
The Book of Urizen
Author: William Blake
History: The poet and artist, William Blake, was born in London in 1757. He was apprenticed to an engraver, and studied drawing at the Royal Academy. In 1783 he published his first book of poetry, Poetical Sketches. Blake was a religious mystic, who eschewed the traditional teaching of the Christian churches to invent his own doctrines and symbols, which he drew from classical and Celtic mythology, in addtion to many other sources. This printing of The Book of Urizen, from the Rosenwald Collection at the Library of Congress, introduces a figure, Urizen, whom for Blake represented morality and legality. Most of Blake’s books were not published in the traditional sense, but printed for special commissions by private collectors, or London booksellers. As a consequence, they are extremely rare. Blake died in 1827, in poverty and relative obscurity, but by the mid-20th century he had become, in the words of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, “one of the cultural icons of the English-speaking world.”
Info: Only 8 original copies survive today and one sold at auction for 2.5$ million in 1999.
Reproduction Details: The hardcover books are made with two pieces of real wood on the inside. The leather is a 4 oz cowhide, from a small supplier in New York state. The Glue we use to attach the leather to the wood is made at our facility, and is a period correct wheat glue. Along the spine, we use a modern perfect binding, with modern glue, to make the binding last longer. We also add three layers of mull cloth to the outside of the perfect binding, drying in between each layer, a traditional way to make the binding stiff, strong, and resilient.
Note: All of our facsimiles are made to order. Please allow 4-6 weeks for notification of shipment.