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Vol. 57 no. 3: Winter 2023–24

A Copy of Richard Bentley’s Edition of Paradise Lost in William Hayley’s Library c. 1802

20 January 2024
24 Jan. 2024


In “William Blake’s Annotations to Milton’s Paradise Lost: New Evidence for Attribution,” Lisa Sherlock refers to my unpublished research on William Hayley’s correspondence with Lady Harriet Hesketh that establishes the presence of a copy of Richard Bentley’s edition of Paradise Lost in Hayley’s upper library at Turret House in Felpham during part of Blake’s three-year residence on the Sussex coast. I offer this research as an addendum to my 2008 Book Collector article proposing that Blake consulted, and may have annotated, a copy of Bentley’s notorious edition. While I was unable to identify the exact copy, I speculated that it may have been one containing numerous manuscript annotations in different hands, including two signed “WB.”