22 JULY 1876, Page 14


[TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR:'] Sin,—In reply to your correspondent "E. T. C.," who accuses me of having made a " serious error " in stating that Blake was " misunderstood and neglected while he was alive," and undefended after ho was dead, will you allow me to say a few words? In the first place, I never said that Blake was an " unknown man in his generation," so that I have no need to controvert that part of the letter ; but if an artist and a poet is not " neglected and misunder- stood" when no one will read his poems or purchase his pictures, when can he be said to be so ? And that this was the case with Blake, all readers of Mr. Gilchrist's Life must allow. As to Fuseli, " bearing the strongest witness to his genius," it was only natural, as Blake constituted himself the strongest defender of Fuseli ; and besides, the only testimony that I remember Fuseli paying to Blake was saying that he "was damned good to steal from." That in the forty years succeeding to Blake's death there was nothing but an incidental notice of him, in a book devoted to the notable characters of that age, is sufficient to prove that there was no reversal of the verdict against him given during his life.— I am, Sir, &C., THE WRITER OF THE NOTICE.