HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

William Blake and the Tree of Life by Laura…
Loading...

William Blake and the Tree of Life (original 1956; edition 1971)

by Laura DeWitt James

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
171587,099None1
Member:paradoxosalpha
Title:William Blake and the Tree of Life
Authors:Laura DeWitt James
Info:Shambhala (1971), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:blake, cabala, sb st

Work details

William Blake and the Tree of Life by Laura DeWitt James (1956)

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 1 mention

This slender collection of interlinked essays was originally published in 1956 as William Blake: The Finger on the Furnace. The Californian author, about whom I have been able to discover very little, was evidently the founder of a small, initiatic "Blake Society" of three degrees, that convened for some years before her book was first issued (this per research by Keri Davies). It is easy to imagine the contents of the volume in hand serving as instructions to aspirants in such a context.

James quotes extensively from Blake's prophecies, and it is never entirely clear what she asserts to be the formal connection (if any) between Blake and the Qabalah (sic). The spelling of the latter, and the fact that she cites neither Jewish nor secular scholarship to support her remarks about it, suggested to me that her own knowledge of it (which seems robust and largely accurate) was derived from occult sources. And indeed, in the final essay on "Sweet Science," she does indicate occultist and Thelemite Charles Stansfeld Jones (under his byline of "Frater Achad") as an important "student of the Qabalah" (110).

Although she addresses herself explicitly to the "beginner in Blake," James's exposition is dense and tersely allusive. She several times mentions grail symbolism, without going into much explanation of why such a matter should be of interest to the Blakean or the qabalist. In the longest essay, "Vertical Disaster: A Study of the False Tongue beneath Beulah," she offers a fairly provocative set of claims regarding esoteric human anatomy.

I was in fact relieved that this book was free of the sort of wild biographical speculation that has characterized recent works on Blake by scholars of esotericism. James confines herself to the ideas, and terrific ideas they are. At the same time, this book will offer the most satisfaction to readers with some mystical aspirations of their own, and literary scholars are likely to find it somewhat frustrating.
3 vote paradoxosalpha | Jan 22, 2013 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio

Popular covers

Rating

Average: No ratings.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 118,655,106 books! | Top bar: Always visible