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Helen P. Bruder and Tristanne Connolly, eds., Queer Blake

Tilar J. Mazzeo

The central critical object of this essay collection is an interesting one. The authors gathered here undertake to consider how Blake’s commitment to sexual liberation can be extended to include queer sexualities (defined, perhaps needless to say, not simply as homosexual but more broadly in the terms of post-structuralist theory). They are also considering, in many cases, how a “queered” Blake intersects with the history of Blake’s period and the history of Blake studies. In the introduction, for example, the volume’s editors make the salient point that the critical investment in Blake’s working-class political radicalism may have resulted in a bias against reading for homosexual or homosocial references in his work or his biography, because both were frequently coded as aristocratic “vices” (5-6).

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