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Vol. 50 no. 2: Fall 2016

Michael Farrell, Blake and the Methodists

  • Andrew Lincoln
5 October 2016
05 Oct. 2016


At the heart of this study is a detailed and very informative comparison of Blake and John Wesley. The book needs its wider title because it includes a chapter on the Moravians and glances at other eighteenth-century figures associated with Methodism, including George Whitefield and William Cowper. Some earlier studies have considered Blake in relation to Methodism, but this is the first comprehensive treatment. Farrell suggests that critics have been put off exploring this subject more fully by E. P. Thompson, who attributed his own disapproval of Methodism to Blake himself. Against Thompson, Farrell points out that Blake “undeniably held sympathies towards” Methodism, as shown by the positive allusions to Whitefield and Wesley in Milton and Jerusalem (8).