Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/14

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WILLIAM BLAKE

was printed for the first time by Mr. Archibald G. B. Russell in his edition of The Letters of William Blake (Methuen, 1906), This very important volume completes the task which I have here undertaken: the reprint of every record of Blake from contemporary sources.

The mere contact with Blake seems to awaken the natural generosity of those who have concerned themselves with him. To Mr. John Sampson, the editor of the only accurate edition of Blake's poems, I am indebted for more help and encouragement than I can hope to express in detail; and particularly for prompting me to a search among birth and marriage and death registers, by which I have been enabled to settle several disputed points of some interest. To Mr. A. G. B. Russell I owe constant personal help, and the very generous loan of the proofs of his edition of Blake's Letters, and of Tatham's Life, with free leave to use them in the narrative which I was writing at a time when his book had not yet appeared.