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Vol. 56 no. 4: Spring 2023

John Higgs, William Blake Now; John Higgs, William Blake vs. the World

17 April 2023
26 Apr. 2023


John Higgs is a versatile British essayist, television producer, journalist, and novelist (and more) who has written an odd but excellent general introduction to Blake. A few years ago he began working on a big but amorphous (from the sound of it) Blake project; shaken by the Brexit vote and stirred by the size and diversity of the audience at the ceremony dedicating the Blake memorial in Bunhill Fields, Higgs published a short collection of essays considering causes and implications of the huge change in Blake’s reputation in his home country since his death. In 2021 Higgs presented a 400-page biographical Blake-buster, part study guide, part self-help book, part manifesto—​here and there encompassing pop culture, counterculture, high culture, literary criticism, seventeenth-century theology and poetry, psychology, current and Georgian politics, neuroscience, quantum mechanics, comparative theology, mysticism, and much else.