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By Tristanne J. Connolly (auth.)

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Just as 'the Bible of Hell' mentioned in Marriage 24 could refer not only to the text at hand, but to Blake's view of his whole project of illuminated printing, so can the humanization of his works. David Erdman suggests that Los's 'numerous sons' who 'shook their bright fiery wings' (or pages) in Europe 5[6] could be Blake's illuminated books personified (in Tolley 127). Elsewhere, descriptions of Los and Enitharmon embodying their children can be parallelled to William and Catherine Blake creating illuminated books.

Jon Mee sees Blake's obscurity from a less exclusive point of view; necessarily, because of the context of popular prophecy in which he places Blake in Dangerous Enthusiasm. Mee finds that obscurity (for example, allegories which do not clearly match up to particular historical events) is, according to Robert Lowth in his Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews, an essential characteristic of prophecy. Lowth's reasons are similar to Blake's: 'it whets the understanding, excites an appetite for knowledge, keeps alive the attention, and exercises the genius by the labour of the imagination' (in Mee 27).

Mee finds that obscurity (for example, allegories which do not clearly match up to particular historical events) is, according to Robert Lowth in his Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews, an essential characteristic of prophecy. Lowth's reasons are similar to Blake's: 'it whets the understanding, excites an appetite for knowledge, keeps alive the attention, and exercises the genius by the labour of the imagination' (in Mee 27). Mee argues that Lowth's opinion 'exemplifies and indeed profoundly influenced the common eighteenth-century notion of the public and even political nature of the prophetic office' (27).

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