Night Thoughts Folio Society Limited Edition 2005


1 in stock


Night Thoughts Folio Society Limited Edition

Limited Edition 215 of 1000

A superb facsimile edition, the first to reproduce all of Blake’s illustrations.

In 1795 William Blake received a commission from a London bookseller to provide illustrations for an engraved edition of Edward Young’s The Complaint: or Night Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality. It was by far the most notable undertaking of Blake’s artistic career to this point, a perfect marriage of illustrator and subject. The prodigious number of watercolours Blake produced – 537 in all – meant there was one illustration for approximately every 20 lines of verse, an extraordinary achievement in itself. Yet the beauty of the work is what truly astonishes. Page after page, you cannot help but be moved by the passion and sweep of Blake’s imagination. For Night Thoughts, this most singular of artists produced a breath-taking procession of individual portraits: the divine and the damned, arresting in their conception, captivating in their execution. Blake’s watercolours do not just ornament the panels of Young’s text, they dominate and envelop them. From the ringer serpent of Nature to the Soul staggering at Futurity’ at the edge of a mountain-top; from the bearded figure of Death tearing the pillow from behind the sleeper’s head, to depictions of Christ the Redeemer and Creator, these are images of astonishing inventiveness and emotional power.


  • Folio Society Limited Edition No 215 of 1000.
  • Publisher Folio Society, London; 2005
  • Hardback Dark-Blue Three-Volume Clamshell Box with a Leather Spine-Label Titled in Gold: Volumes One and Two 548pp, Commentary 362pp
  • With 537 Superb Illustrations by William Blake
  • Volumes One and Two Size 430 x 340 mm, Commentary Size 250mm x 160mm, 15kg

Condition: Near Fine – Slipcase Very Light Scratch to Back Otherwise Unmarked Copy

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Additional information

Weight 15 kg


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