Date of Award

12-4-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Christine Gallant - Chair

Second Advisor

Paul Schmidt

Third Advisor

LeeAnne Richardson

Abstract

This thesis examines the influence of the abolition debates on two of William Blake’s early writings, “The Little Black Boy” and The Visions of the Daughters of Albion. It also considers Blake’s engravings for John Gabriel Stedman’s Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam as proof of his abolitionist interest. Chapter one provides an overview of current Romantic criticism which situates Blake and other Romantic writers within a historical context. Chapter two summarizes the abolition movement in the late eighteenth century. Chapters three, four and five specifically discuss Blake’s work as abolitionist in intent.

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