William Blake was a prolific poet, artist, visionary and author, whose incredible body of work was dismissed, mocked and all but forgotten about when he died in poverty in 1827.

Today, however, Blake is celebrated as a pillar of English literature, the author of our unofficial national anthem ‘Jerusalem’ and of philosophies that have helped form contemporary English identity.

Join Professor Jason Whittaker, Blake scholar at Lincoln University, and John Higgs, author of William Blake vs. The World, as they discuss everything from the nation’s fascination with a misunderstood artist to the strange relationship between Blake’s imagination and modern neuroscience.

About The Authors

Headshot of Author Jason Whittaker posing with a sculpture

Jason Whittaker

Jason Whittaker is Head of the School of English and Journalism at the University of Lincoln. He has written extensively on William Blake over a period of thirty years, and his most recent books are Divine Images: The Life and Works of William Blake (Reaktion Books, 2021), and Jerusalem: Blake, Parry and the Fight for Englishness (Oxford University Press, 2022). He is a trustee of the Blake Society and Blake Cottage Trust and editor of the site zoamorphosis.com. 

John Higgs Headshot

John Higgs

John Higgs is a writer who specialises in finding previously unsuspected narratives, hidden in obscure corners of our history and culture, which can change the way we see the world. His work has been described as “Absolutely wonderful” by Terry Gilliam and “breathtakingly lucid” by Alan Moore. According to The Times, “Higgs’s prose has a diamond-hard quality. He knows how to make us relate.” His books include The KLF, Stranger Than We Can Imagine, Watling Street and William Blake Vs The World. His next book, Love And Let Die: Bond, the Beatles and the British Psyche, will be released in September 2022.