Billy Bragg, the singer, songwriter and activist, will share his views on England, nationalism and the influence of William Blake on his work in a talk to the Blake Society. Blake has long been an inspiration for the artist, who has previously recorded Jerusalem and the album William Bloke in 2006, and this event is an opportunity to hear more about how the artist and poet has shaped his views and music. As war breaks out in Europe once more, more than ever Blake is a figure who can bring us together in the spirit of Billy Bragg’s most recent album, The Million Things that Never Happened (2021).
Billy will be in conversation with Professor Jason Whittaker, author of Jerusalem: Blake, Parry and the Fight for Englishness, to explore the ways in which William Blake’s vision of the country arises from hope rather than despair. Anyone who wishes to understand how Blake has inspired him, as well as those who are concerned with how questions of national identity continue to affect us in the twenty-first century, and those who wish to hear how such ideas influence his own work before he embarks an international tour in May should attend this even
All the monies raised go to the Blake Cottage Trust for the renovation of the Cottage in Felpham where William & Catherine wrote the words that would become the anthem Jerusalem.