Sibylle Erle

Sibylle Erle
University of Lincoln

Phd in English Literature

About

23
Publications
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24
Citations
Introduction
I work on Blake, death & monsters & wrote Blake, Lavater and Physiognomy (2010). I co-edited The Reception of William Blake in Europe (2019), Monsters: Interdisciplinary Explorations in Monstrosity (2019-2020) & edited Blake in Europe (2022). I am now working on edited collections arising from the Global Blake conference (2022). Apart from Blake’s significance for other cultures, my current research is on Fairy Spaces, Perceptions of Death, Blake, Tennyson and Swedenborg & Blake's Flea.

Publications

Publications (23)
Article
Full-text available
William Blake’s influence on modern culture is undeniable. Blake—in contrast, for example, to P. B. Shelley, Wordsworth, or Byron—has a huge presence in literature, art, and music. Striking parallels and historical evidence for connections between Blake and his modern audiences have been identified and discussed, determining why he matters. From th...
Article
Full-text available
When Ludwig Meidner (1884–1966), the German-Jewish expressionist painter, printmaker, and writer, returned to Germany in 1953, he took what he could carry: personal belongings, books, and images, his prints, drawings, paintings, and watercolors. Refugees face difficult choices; they can take only what is absolutely necessary. Meidner never adjusted...
Article
Full-text available
There is a continued fascination with all things monster. This is partly due to the popular reception of Mary Shelley’s Monster, termed a ‘new species’ by its overreaching but admiringly determined maker Victor Frankenstein in the eponymous novel first published in 1818. The enduring impact of Shelley’s novel, which spans a plethora of subjects and...
Chapter
My chapter, which is on the German Reception of Blake's art since 1900, is one of three chapters on Blake's German reception, published in The Reception of William Blake in Europe (2 vols, 26 chapters, pp. 768) which I co-edited with Morton D. Paley. The Reception of William Blake in Europe is a volume in the longstanding and successful series The...
Article
Ludwig Meidner (1884–1966), who belonged to the mystical wing of German expressionism, was forced to leave Germany in 1939. It was during his exile years that Meidner’s new style matured, and this ran alongside his continuing appreciation of Blake. My article examines the British context of Meidner’s engagement with Blake and outlines how he unders...
Article
Full-text available
This essay reiterates the importance of Captain Robert Walton in Shelley’s novel. Walton is the addressee of Frankenstein’s story and drawing attention to his presence helps with unravelling the complexity of the creation scene. The focus is on physiognomical creation, i.e. not only on Frankenstein’s body-making but also his aesthetic response to b...
Chapter
Erle offers an interpretation of the versions of Blake’s flea: the head and full-length pencil drawing as well as the tempera The Ghost of a Flea and the plate in John Varley’s A Treatise on Zodiacal Physiognomy. Moving beyond the familiar narratives about Blake’s collaboration with Varley and the nightly séances at his house, the chapter revisits...
Chapter
This essay argues that Meidner’s relations to Blake run deeper than previously assumed. These relations, moreover, cannot be limited to the fourteen years in London because Meidner says that he knew of Blake when in Germany and continued to take an interest after he left England in 1953. This essay discusses Blake’s presence in Meidner’s life and a...
Article
The season of the Waterloo panoramas began in March 1816, about nine months after the battle on 18 June 18156. The Waterloo panoramas were exhibited in London as well as across the country. Focusing on the finale on the field of Waterloo and highlighting the human cost of the French Napoleonic wars, they brought the battle to life as late as 1842....
Chapter
William Blake was extremely interested in representing man’s condition in the afterlife and it is often impossible to tell the living from the dead in Blake’s art. This is especially true for the illustrations done for new editions of three graveyard poets, Robert Blair, Thomas Gray and Edward Young. This chapter revisits the debate surrounding Bla...
Article
We now know not only that Alfred, Lord Tennyson, owned a copy of William Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job, but also that it had pride of place in his collection at Farringford on the Isle of Wight in the early 1860s. According to a list kept at the Tennyson Research Centre in Lincoln, he displayed it on his drawing-room table well before he...
Chapter
Not only the Songs, but also Europe (1793), The Book of Urizen and The Song of Los (1795) open with scenes of invocation. In the 1790s Blake is experimenting with a new concept of inspiration, because rather than use the classical trope as an explanation, he adapts these scenes in order to establish the poet as an original source of poetic truth. T...
Book
Blake never travelled to the continent, and yet his creation myth is far more European than has so far been acknowledged. In the 1790s the two main factors of the European context of Blake’s early illuminated books are his friendship with the Swiss-born painter Henry Fuseli and the engraver team working on Henry Hunter’s translation of Johann Caspa...
Chapter
In his annotations to Joshua Reynolds’s Discourses on Art, Blake wrote that ‘Men who have been Educated with Works of Venetian Artists. under their Eyes Cannot see Rafael unless they are born with Determinate Organs’ (E637). What we see is not simply regulated by weight of tradition or fear of authority. Nor must we understand it to be the product...
Article
Full-text available
On October 23, 1804, William Blake wrote to William Hayley: "Suddenly, on the day after visiting the Truchsessian Gallery of pictures, I was again enlightened with the light I enjoyed in my youth, and which has for exactly twenty years been closed from me as by a door and by window-shutters" (756). This article explores the significance of Blake's...
Article
Aphorisms on Man, like few other books of its size or content, has remained part of the scene of literary history owing to the combined efforts of three men, its Swiss author, Johann Caspar Lavater, its translator, Johann Heinrich Füssli, more commonly known in England as Henry Fuseli, and its illustrator and annotator William Blake. Johann Caspar...
Article
At the end of the eighteenth century, Europe-wide debates on the nature of man and the practice of interpreting visual artefacts centred on physiognomy, and specifically on one extraordinary, luxuriously illustrated work which claimed to map out how character could precisely be read in the human face: Johann Caspar Lavater's Essays on Physiognomy.

Projects