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Vol. 57 no. 2: Fall 2023

A Conversation with Helen Bruder

15 October 2023
24 Oct. 2023


The year 2022 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Helen P. Bruder’s William Blake and the Daughters of Albion (Macmillan, 1997) (hereafter WBDA), the first book that brought feminist criticism to bear on Blake studies. Bruder’s WBDA wrestles with Blake’s complex representations of gender and sexuality. While earlier essays brought much-needed critical focus to Blake’s representations of women (see Susan Fox and Anne Mellor), Bruder’s book-length study argued for a radical feminist spirit in his works. This strident call to arms would advance Blake scholarship in exciting new directions, and WBDA has been widely cited ever since. Bruder is also the editor of Women Reading William Blake (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and prolific co-editor with Tristanne Connolly of four collections: Queer Blake (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Blake, Gender and Culture (Pickering & Chatto, 2012), Sexy Blake (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and Beastly Blake (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Currently, she is an independent scholar living in Oxfordshire. I met with her on 3 October 2022 at St. James’s Church, Piccadilly, in London, where we talked in the vestibule near the font where Blake was baptized in 1757. In the interview that follows, Bruder reflects on WBDA and what has changed in Blake scholarship since then.