Houses, churches, and prisons were burned by uncontrollable mobs bent on destruction.On one evening, whether by design or by accident, Blake found himself at the front of the mob that burned Newgate prison.Even at an early age, however, his unique mental powers would prove disquieting.
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By all accounts Blake had a pleasant and peaceful childhood, made even more pleasant by skipping any formal schooling.
As a young boy he wandered the streets of London and could easily escape to the surrounding countryside.
Only about 50 copies of are known to have been printed.
Blake’s financial enterprises also did not fare well.
In 1784, after his father’s death, Blake used part of the money he inherited to set up shop as a printseller with his friend James Parker.
The Blakes moved to 27 Broad Street, next door to the family home and close to Blake’s brothers.
Henry Mathew, whose drawing room was often a meeting place for artists and musicians.
There Blake gained favor by reciting and even singing his early poems. Mathew, a thin volume of poems was published under the title (1783).
Many of these poems are imitations of classical models, much like the sketches of models of antiquity the young artist made to learn his trade.
Even here, however, one sees signs of Blake’s protest against war and the tyranny of kings.