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Calvert's landscapes were partly inspired by the countryside around Shoreham. But they also drew on the pastoral vision depicted by Blake in his Virgil woodcuts and on Blake's notion of Beulah. This came from the Biblical Beulah, the name given to Palestine when God restored it to favour, and from John Bunyan's Beulah or Earthly Paradise of The Pilgrim's Progress. Beulah also meant 'married'. The idea of the Soul as the Bride seeking God on the difficult path to salvation lies at the heart of The Bride.

August 2004