Marsha Keith Schuchard on Moravian-Swedenborgian infant education

The Fall issue of Studies in Romanticism includes a detailed and fascinating view of the influence of these views on Blake's Songs.

The Fall issue of Studies in Romanticism, available from today, includes a new article on Blake's most famous collection of poetry by independent scholar, Marsha Keith Schuchard. "Text Books for Innocence: Moravian-Swedenborgian Infant Education and William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience" explores the impact of Moravianism and Swedenborgianism on the Songs as explained in its abstract:

Documents discovered in Moravian Archives reveal that William Blake's mother and her first husband were members of a controversial, heterodox Moravian church in 1749–52. She and her second husband, James Blake, attended Moravian services before moving on to Swedenborgianism. The discovery provides a new historical context for William's Songs of Innocence and Experience (1789–94). Count Zinzendorf and Emanuel Swedenborg presented radically new ideas for the education of "infants" (ages one to seven). Though political repression frustrated their early agenda, it was later fulfilled by Swedenborgian educators.

Marsha Keith Schuchard received a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin for her thesis, "Freemasonry Secret Societies and the Continuity of the Occult Traditions in British Literature." While working as a medical editor in the international field of drug abuse prevention, she visited libraries and archives in many countries, where she continued her independent investigations of what she characterizes as "suppressed history." She is especially interested in 18th- and 19th-century secret societies, Jacobitism, Jewish mysticism, Sabbatianism, Swedenborgianism, Moravianism, and other heterodox religions, focusing on their influence on politics, literature, and the arts. Besides over sixty scholarly articles, she has published four books: Restoring the Temple of Vision: Cabalistic Freemasonry and Stuart Culture (Brill, 2002); Why Mrs. Blake Cried: William Blake and the Sexual Basis of Spiritual Vision (Random House, 2006); Emanuel Swedenborg, Secret Agent on Earth and in Heaven: Jacobites, Jews, and Freemasons in Early Modern Sweden (Brill, 2012); and Masonic Rivalries and Literary Politics: From Jonathan Swift to Henry Fielding (2018).

The Fall issue of Studies in Romanticism is available at and is open access for 30 days.