31. Blake's Jerusalem: Friendship with Albion

  1. Charles Mahoney Associate Professor of English
  1. Karen Swann Professor of English

Published Online: 3 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444390650.ch31

A Companion to Romantic Poetry

A Companion to Romantic Poetry

How to Cite

Swann, K. (2010) Blake's Jerusalem: Friendship with Albion, in A Companion to Romantic Poetry (ed C. Mahoney), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444390650.ch31

Editor Information

  1. University of Connecticut, USA

Author Information

  1. Williams College, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 MAY 2012
  2. Published Print: 26 NOV 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405135542

Online ISBN: 9781444390650



  • Blake's Jerusalem - friendship with Albion;
  • the epic - poem that would call - into being the collective body of a people;
  • The Politics of Friendship - Jacques Derrida, exploring instabilities - like those that befall the friend/enemy distinction;
  • Blake's partial response to the problem - giving Albion a human countenance and a degree of emotional accessibility;
  • Blake, anthropomorphizing “Albion” - capacity and limits, negotiating an impasse of access and address;
  • recalled moment, fantasy of relayed shame - aggressive masculine self-display subduing female liberty;
  • Albion dying of mortification, voices that might call him - from “without” only reinforcing shameful truths he has hidden “within”;
  • Albion, singling out the arts - for special opprobrium;
  • London, a world of simulacra - goods and laborers, humanity cannibalized by an agentless, rationalized system of production;
  • Jerusalem, transporting the reader - whose friendship endures toward a New Jerusalem


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • I

  • II

  • III

  • IV

  • References and Further Reading