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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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George Goyder


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George Goyder : [notes or script for a lecture on William Blake, in particular as a painter and engraver]

'Meeting held at 39, Eastern Avenue 18th Sept, 1944
A. Bruce Dilks in the chair.


2. The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


5. Alice Joselin introduced the subject of the evening by telling us something of the life of William Blake. Born in 1757 he was living through the beginning of the industrial revolution. He had no schooling but showed early artistic ability and was apprenticed for 7 years to an engraver. During this time he wrote some of his early poetry. Becoming himself a professional engraver he experimented with a new method of printing “shown to him in a vision”. As she traced the pattern of his life during the remaining 27 years, Alice Joselin gave us a portrait of an embittered man, never well loved even by his friends and incomprehensible to his contemporaries. She concluded with an extract from a Short Survey of William Blake by Quiller Couch.

6. F. E. Pollard said that he had been reluctant to undertake the task of talking to the Club on the literature of Wm. Blake since he was acquainted with only three of his poems. But as this was 50% more than anyone else knew, he need not have worried. He emphasised Blakes great lyrical gifts and his share in the poetic revolution of the C18th, even suggesting that Blake led the way. Frances Pollard illustrated his remarks by reading from: [“]To the evening star”, “How sweet I roam” and “Memory hither come”. He also read a short extract from Jerusalem throwing out the suggestion that the subject matter showed some influence of Thomas Payne, Quaker.

7. After some refreshment we welcomed to our meeting Mr. George Goyder who is a very keen student and collector of William Blake. It was a great privilege to have among us one whose profound knowledge of and enthusiasm for his subject was absolutely convincing. After listening to Mr. Goyder and looking at his many beautiful examples of Blake’s work, we were willing to allow that he is probably our greatest English artist and equalled as an engraver only by Dürer.

The Chairman expressed our very warmest thanks to Mr. Goyder.

[signed as a true record by] J. Knox Taylor 16/X/44.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: George Goyder      Manuscript: Unknown


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