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This landscape shows the area near Felpham where Blake’s patron, the poet William Hayley, lived. Hayley’s house, called the Turret, can be seen in the centre.

Blake and his wife stayed near Hayley between 1800 and 1803. They lived in the cottage seen to the right, which Blake described as one that could not be ‘improved either in Beauty or Use’. The sunbeam falling on the cottage seems to refer to Blake’s first reaction on arriving in Felpham after leaving London: ‘Heaven opens here on all sides her Golden Gate; her window’s are not obscured by vapours.’

September 2004