The Hermit’s Dog, from William Hayley’s "Ballads"
William Blake British
Publisher Richard Phillips British
Related author William Hayley British
Not on view
This small print illustrates a poem by William Hayley and is one of a series centered on unusual encounters between people and animals. In 1800, after Blake's ambitious illustrations to Grey's "Night Thoughts" failed commercially, he accepted an invitation from Hayley to move into a cottage that the latter owned at Felpham in Sussex. In return, Blake set to work illustrating a new edition of his host's poetry. The association proved artistically stifling for Blake but did produce an interesting series demonstrating Blake's skills as a reproductive printmaker. A quarto sized volume of 1802 was followed by an octavo sized book issued in 1805, containing additional poems, including "The Friar's Dog."