November 28, 2012 - Happy Birthday, William Blake

Author, painter, engraver, mystic, artist...William Blake was a real Renaissance man who lived in Great Britain several centuries after the Renaissance. (A “Renaissance man” is defined as someone with many talents or interests, especially in the humanities.)

Blake is also one of those examples of someone who is appreciated more by later generations. During his own time, many thought that Blake was “mad” (crazy) because he had such different ideas, and he died penniless and largely unrecognized. Nowadays, his reception is mixed. Some people dismiss his art. Many have never heard of him. However, his originality and creativity have earned Blake high praise from many others—one art critic even said that William Blake is “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced.” 

William Blake was born on this date in 1757 in London. He lived almost his entire life in that great city, and he is often credited as being one of the first of the "Romantics"—helping to start the artistic and literary movement known as Romanticism.

  • Repeat After Us offers audio files of various people reading aloud Blake's poems. 
  • Read Write Think offers several links to Blake's artwork, plus activity suggestions. 

Also on this date:

Anniversary of the first skywriting in U.S. skies 

Chad's Republic Day 

Panama's Independence Day 

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