Index Bibliography

Europe a Prophecy

Currently Available:

Europe a Prophecy, copy B, 1794 (Glasgow University Library): electronic edition
Europe a Prophecy, copy D, 1794 (British Museum): electronic edition
Europe a Prophecy, copy E, 1794 (Library of Congress): electronic edition
Europe a Prophecy, copy G, 1794 (Morgan Library and Museum): electronic edition
Europe a Prophecy, copy A, 1795 (Yale Center for British Art): electronic edition
Europe a Prophecy, copy H, 1795 (Houghton Library): electronic edition
Europe a Prophecy, copy K, 1821 (Fitzwilliam Museum): electronic edition

Dates are the probable dates of printing.

The second of Blake's "Continental Prophecies" (see also America and The Song of Los), Europe presents in mythopoeic form the fundamental philosophical positions in conflict in Blake's revolutionary era. Historical events are reconfigured into their universalized representations through Blake's own cast of characters, including Enitharmon, the female personification of fallen nature and history, Orc, the spirit of revolt, and Los and Urizen, the "Eternals" who would become central to Blake's mythic system of the "Zoas." These contending forces lead beyond political revolution to an apocalypse of biblical scope. Only copies H and K contain pl. 3, a whimsical prefatory statement about the poem's origin.

Blake etched in relief, with considerable white-line work in some designs, and first printed the eighteen plates of Europe in 1794. The first printing of that year produced proof copies a-c. Copy a, lacking plates 3, 8, 12-16, and with plate 17 following plate 11, may be an early version of the book before the missing plates were etched. Copies b and c are not working proofs or copies but gatherings of early impressions (some, as in copy a, in early states). These groups lack the same seven plates absent from copy a and are from the same first printing. Some posthumous impressions were added to these groups by nineteenth-century owners. Copies B-G were also produced in 1794, perhaps shortly after the proof printing. There are only two later printings: 1795 (copies A and H) and 1821 (copy K). Copy A contains some opaque water colors probably added by someone other than Blake. Copies I, L, and M are posthumous.

Related Works

Related works currently available in the William Blake Archive appear as links below. Works not currently available appear as plain text.

All Known Copies

This list includes untraced copies known only from sales catalogues.
  • copy a (proofs), 1794
    British Museum, Dept. of Prints and Drawings
    London
  • Copy C, 1794
    Houghton Library
    Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Copy D, 1794
    British Museum, Dept. of Prints and Drawings
    London
  • Copy E, 1794
    Rosenwald Collection, Library of Congress
    Washington D.C.
  • Copy F, 1794
    Berg Collection, New York Public Library
    New York City
  • Copy N, possibly 1794 or later
    Untraced
  • Copy A, 1795
    Yale Center for British Art
    Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Copy H, 1795
    Houghton Library
    Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Copy I, c. 1832
    Auckland Public Library
    Auckland, New Zealand
  • Copy L, c. 1832
    Huntington Library and Art Gallery
    San Marino, California
  • Copy M, c. 1832
    Fitzwilliam Museum
    Cambridge, England

All Known Related Drawings
  • Pestilence, Probably the Great Plague of London
    Water color, c. 1779-80. Butlin 184.
    Private Collection
  • Pestilence
    Water color, c. 1780-84. Butlin 185.
    Collection of Robert N. Essick
    Altadena, California
  • Sketch for "Tiriel Denouncing His Sons and Daughters"
    Pencil sketch, c. 1789. Butlin 199 recto.
    Whitworth Art Gallery
    University of Manchester, Manchester, England
  • Tiriel Denouncing His Sons and Daughters
    Monochrome wash drawing, c. 1789. Butlin 198.8.
    Fitzwilliam Museum
    Cambridge, England
  • Blake's Notebook, pages 10A, 25, 51, 74, 75, 83, 96, 97
    Pencil sketches, c. 1790-94. Butlin 201.10A, 25, 51, 74, 75, 83, 96, 97.
    British Library
    London
  • Various Personifications, A Death Bed and Other Drawings
    Pencil sketches, c. 1793-94. Butlin 214 recto and verso.
    Houghton Library
    Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts, Night V, Page 8
    Water Color, c. 1795-97. Butlin 330.163.
    British Museum
    London
  • Malevolence
    Water color, 1799. Butlin 341.
    Philadelphia Museum of Art
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania