More than a century-and-a-half after his death, William Blake remains a truly remarkable and controversial figure. Equally gifted as poet and painter, he produced work as arresting for its beauty as for its strangeness. For some he is an inspiring genius, a source of creativity and insight; for others he is an unsettling eccentric. William Vaughan explores the contradictions that stand in the way of an easy understanding of this artist's work. With this fresh examination of Blake's unfolding career, he presents an artist with radical and utterly individual vision, deeply concerned with the social, religious and political issues of his age.