Blake’s earliest formative influences – other than the mild mainstream of English poetry – were pre-eminently “gothic”: Ossian; the Norse myths, popularized by Gray and translated from Mallet’s French by Percy; Chatterton’s imitations of ballads; as well as Swedenborg, whose fantasy is as Nordic as the fairy tales of his own country, abounding in fens and mists, toads, underground houses entered by the roof, mills, caverns, troll-like devils among the rocks, fragile flower-gardens, and, ruling over all, the pale hyperborean sun. Tiriel, written about 1789, is the first of the Prophetic Books and Blake’s first essay in myth-making. In form Tiriel resembles nothing so much as Swedenborg’s “memorable relations” of happenings seen in the spiritual worlds. The many resemblances, both in general and in minute particulars, between Tiriel and Oedipus are so obvious and so striking that it is surprising they have so long remained unnoticed.