Postscript Blake

A famous poetic defender of America's fiery freedoms, Blake unapologetically represented the revolutionary flames of enthusiasm and preserved the legacy of poetic enthusiasm for nineteenth-century poetry. Blake restored enthusiasm to the very state eighteenth-century British poets had worked so hard to alter (Mee 1992). Professed interlocutor with angels and idiosyncratic champion of his god within, Blake would associate enthusiasm directly with political revolution in America: A Prophecy (1793), and again in the dedication to Jerusalem (1804). He offers therein a most fitting final tribute to the importance of poetic enthusiasm throughout the prior century and beyond:

The Enthusiasm of the following Poem, the Author hopes no Reader will think presumptuousness or arroganc[e] when he is reminded that the Ancients entrusted their love to their Writing, to the full as Enthusiastically as I have who Acknowledge mine for my Saviour and Lord, for they were wholly absorb'd in their Gods. (plate 3)

See also chs. 4, "Poetry and Religion"; 9, "Poetry, Sentiment, and Sensibility"; 32, "Whig and Tory Poetics"; 34, "Augustanism and Pre-Romanticism"; 37, "The Sublime."

References and Further Reading

Astell, Mary (1709). Bart'lemy Fair: or, an Enquiry after Wit; in which Respect is had to a Letter concerning Enthusiasm, to my Lord *** . . . London.

Campbell, Archibald (1730). A Discourse Proving that the Apostles were no Enthusiasts. Wherein the Nature and Influence of Religious Enthusiasm are Impartially Explain'd . . . London.

Dennis, John (1939—43). The Critical Works of John Dennis, ed. Edward Niles Hooker, 2 vols. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Gibson, Edmund (1755). A Caution against Enthusiasm. Being the Second Part of the Forth Pastoral Letter. By the Right Reverend Father in God, Edmund Gibson, D.D. Late Lord Bishop of London. 7th edn. Dublin.

Goldstein, Jan (1998). "Enthusiasm or Imagination? Eighteenth-Century Smear Words in Comparative National Context." In Lawrence E. Klein and Anthony J. La Vopa (eds.), Enthusiasm and Enlightenment in Europe, 1650—1850, 29—50. San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library.

Griffin, Dustin (1986). Regaining Paradise: Milton and the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Hawes, Clement (1996). Mania and Literary Style: The Rhetoric of Enthusiasm from the Ranters to Christopher Smart. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Heyd, Michael (1995). "Be Sober and Reasonable":

The Critique of Enthusiasm in the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries. Leiden: Brill.

Holmes, Geoffrey (1986). Politics, Religion and Society in England 1679—1742. London: Hambledon.

Hooker, Edward N. (1939-43). "Introduction." In The Critical Works of John Dennis, 2 vols., vol. 1, vii-cxliii. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Hoyles, John (1972). The Edges of Augustanism: The Aesthetics of Spirituality in Thomas Ken, John Byrom, and William Law. The Hague: Nijhoff.

Irlam, Shaun (1999). Elations: The Poetics of Enthusiasm in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Locke, John (1975). An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, ed. Peter H. Nidditch. Oxford: Clarendon.

Knox, Ronald A. (1950). Enthusiasm: A Chapter in the History of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mee, Jon (1992). Dangerous Enthusiasm: William Blake and the Culture of Radicalism in the 1790s. Oxford: Clarendon.

Mee, Jon (1998). "Coleridge, Prophecy, and Popular Politics in the 1790s." In Lawrence E. Klein and Anthony J. La Vopa (eds.), Enthusiasm and Enlightenment in Europe, 1650—1850 (pp. 179204). San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library.

Morillo, John D. (2000). "John Dennis: Enthusi astic Passions, Cultural Memory, and Literary Theory." Eighteenth-Century Studies 34, 21—41.

Morillo, John D. (2001). Uneasy Feelings: Literature, the Passions, and Class from Neoclassicism to Romanticism. New York: AMS.

Morris, David B. (1972). The Religious Sublime: Christian Poetry and Critical Tradition in Eighteenth-Century England. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Pocock, J. G. A. (1989). "Edmund Burke and the Redefinition of Enthusiasm: The Context of Counter Revolution." In François Furet and Mona Ozouf (eds.), The French Revolution and the Creation of Modern Political Culture, vol. 3. Oxford: Pergamon.

Pocock, J. G. A. (1998). "Enthusiasm: The Antiself of Enlightenment." In Lawrence E. Klein and Anthony J. La Vopa (eds.), Enthusiasm and Enlightenment in Europe, 1650—1850, 7—28. San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library.

Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of (2001). "A Letter Concerning Enthusiasm." In Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinons, Times, 3 vols., vol. 1. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.

Swift, Jonathan (1986). A Tale of a Tub and Other Works, ed. Angus Ross and David Wooley. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Williamson, George (1933). "The Restoration Revolt against Enthusiasm." Studies in Philology

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