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“Remarkable both for Genius, & Extravagance”: Amelia Opie and Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job

Shelley King, John B. Pierce

In 1986 William W. Heath announced a most exciting acquisition for the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, the gift of Dr. and Mrs. K. Frank Austen (class of 1950): a copy of Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job (1826) that had been known earlier in the twentieth century but whose location had proved elusive for a number of years. It is readily identifiable by its inscription: “This work remarkable both for Genius, & Extravagance, is the gift of Amelia Opie to her friend David, whose own genius will make him prize the former, while his excellent Taste makes it impossible for him to imitate the latter—​Paris—​4me Mo 22me 1831”.

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