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Book/Printed Material Europe, a prophecy

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About this Item


  • Europe, a prophecy


  • The English poet, illustrator, and engraver William Blake (1757-1827) first published Europe, A Prophecy in 1794, one year after the appearance of his America, A Prophecy. In both books, Blake attempted to discern the pattern behind human history, and in particular in the momentous events occurring on both sides of Atlantic between the end of the American Revolution in 1783 and the outbreak of war between France and Great Britain in 1793. At first an enthusiast for the French Revolution, Blake saw a world of deprivation and misery emerging in Europe, as depicted in "Famine" (plate 9) and "Plague" (plate 10). The frontispiece (plate 1) includes one of Blake's best-known works of art, "The Ancient of Days," which depicts God the Father as a powerful figure, striking the Earth with a pair of compasses. Most of Blake's books were not published in the traditional sense but were printed for special commissions by private collectors or London booksellers. As a consequence, they are extremely rare. This copy, from the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection at the Library of Congress, is one of only nine surviving copies of the work. World Digital Library.


  • Blake, William, 1757-1827
  • Gaisford, Thomas, 1779-1855, former owner
  • Newton, A. Edward (Alfred Edward), 1864-1940, former owner
  • Bedford, Francis, 1799-1883, binder
  • Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • Lambeth : Printed by Will. Blake, 1794.


  • -  England--London--Lambeth


  • -  Library of Congress. Lessing J. Rosenwald collection, 1806
  • -  Keynes, G.L. Bibliography of W. Blake (New York, 1921) 41E
  • -  Keynes & Wolf, William Blake's illuminated books copy E
  • -  Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site.
  • -  LC copy printed in green, blue or brown on 10 leaves, from engraved plates containing both text and illustrations. Hand-colored. Leaves numbered in manuscript: 1-17. Imperfect: Plate iii (as described in Keynes) lacking.
  • -  LC copy: Provenance: Bookplates of Thos. Gaisford and A. Edward Newton.
  • -  LC copy: signed binding: F. Bedford.
  • -  LAC knj 2019-12-17 update (1 card)
  • -  LAC knj 2020-02-11 update (1 card)
  • -  LAC ddw 2022-04-11 update (1 card)


  • 18 plates : col. ill. ; 38 cm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • PR4144 .E8 1794
  • PR4144 .J4 32 cm. Two additional impressions of the final plate (Keynes' plate 15, numbered 17 in this copy) are bound with another issue of Jerusalem, [18--].
  • NE2047.6.B55 A47 Contains four leaves containing six proof plates for Europe, a prophecy. These are for the etchings described by Keynes as tht title page and plates 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Cf. Keynes & Wolf, p. 80 (copy c).

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 48031341

OCLC Number

  • 18249672

Online Format

  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Credit Line: Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Blake, William, Thomas Gaisford, A. Edward Newton, Francis Bedford, and Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection. Europe, a Prophecy. Lambeth: Printed by Will. Blake, 1794. Pdf.

APA citation style:

Blake, W., Gaisford, T., Newton, A. E., Bedford, F. & Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection. (1794) Europe, a Prophecy. Lambeth: Printed by Will. Blake. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Blake, William, et al. Europe, a Prophecy. Lambeth: Printed by Will. Blake, 1794. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.