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Work in HandScript, Print, and Writing, 1690-1840$
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Aileen Douglas

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198789185

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198789185.001.0001

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Printing the Author’s Hand

Printing the Author’s Hand

Chapter:
(p.123) 5 Printing the Author’s Hand
Source:
Work in Hand
Author(s):

Aileen Douglas

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198789185.003.0006

In the 1790s two examples of engraved poetry made the energies of the author’s hand publically visible. Isaac D’Israeli included in his Curiosities of Literature (3rd edn; 1793) a facsimile of some lines from Alexander Pope’s translation of the Iliad. At the same time, William Blake was addressing the public on the subject of his newly discovered illuminated printing, through which Blake hoped to renovate the relationship between the author and his public. These examples of script in print make visible the authors’ work of writing, and of composition. They make available, in print, the open text associated with manuscript culture. This openness is continued, thematically, in William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and its utopian vision of reciprocal, universal, textuality.

Keywords:   engraving, Alexander Pope, William Blake, Isaac D’Israeli, facsimile, illuminated printing, composition, open text, utopian, Songs of Innocence

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