While much has been written about the work of William Blake, and some of the religious beliefs that influenced him, there is a secret history which, until now, has been kept deep beneath the surface in the mystical underground of England in the eighteenth century. Here, for the first time, leading Blake scholar Marsha Keith Schuchard reveals an altogether more intriguing and controversial picture of the poet and artist. The discovery of Blake family documents took Schuchard on a journey of detection that led her to a cast of radical characters including Cagliostro, Zinzendorf, and the mystic Swedenborg, and to a world of waking visions, magical practises, sexual-spiritual experimentation, tantric sex, and free love. "Why Mrs Blake Cried" offers a new insight into the work of Blake, and takes us on an extraordinary journey through secret societies and ancient rituals.
Marsha Keith Schuchard, Ph. D has written extensively on eighteenth-century Cabalistic and "illuminist" Freemasonry and its influence on Swift, Ramsay, Swedenborg, and Blake. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.