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Almost everything you know about the hymn “Jerusalem” is wrong

Lines in England’s unofficial national anthem confused contemporaries and we are not faring much better

By Jason Whittaker  

Preface to Blake's Milton

For more than a century, the hymn “Jerusalem” has been a staple of English national culture. Usually invoked as a sign of patriotic pride—at Last Night of the Proms or the 2012 Olympics—it also appears from time to time with a knowing wink to those more liberally minded, as in the recent rejuvenation of Alan Moore’s Hellblazer comics by Si Spurrier and Aaron Campbell. Returning to London from a long sojourn in the US, central character John Constantine encounters a naked Boris Johnson in an…

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