William Morris (1834-96) was an English poet, decorative artist, translator, romance writer, book designer, preservationist, socialist theorist, and political activist, whose admirers have been drawn to the sheer intensity of his artistic endeavors and efforts to live up to radical ideals of social justice.
This Companion draws together historical and critical responses to the impressive range of Morris's multi-faceted life and activities: his homes, travels, family, business practices, decorative artwork, poetry, fantasy romances, translations, political activism, eco-socialism, and book collecting and design. Each chapter provides valuable historical and literary background information, reviews relevant opinions on its subject from the late-nineteenth century to the present, and offers new approaches to important aspects of its topic.
Morris's eclectic methodology and the perennial relevance of his insights and practice make this an essential handbook for those interested in art history, poetry, translation, literature, book design, environmentalism, political activism, and Victorian and utopian studies.
Introduction. Visions Not Dreams: Morris as Designer, Socialist, Entrepreneur, Poet . . . . Florence S. Boos Section 1: Morris's Life, Family, and Environs 1. Morris's Biographies Michael Robertson 2 Business in the Creative Life of William Morris Charles Harvey, Jon Press and Mairi Maclean 3. Morris, Family, and the Woman Question Florence S. Boos 4. Kelmscott Manor. Mr Morris's Country Place (1871-1896) Julia Griffin 5. What came we forth for to see that our hearts are so hot with desire : Morris and Iceland Martin Stott Section 2: Art: Preservation, Interior Design and Adaptations 6. Morris and Architecture Christopher Miele 7. William Morris and Stained Glass Jim Cheshire 8. William Morris and the Rise of Interior Design Margaretta Frederick 9. William Morris and the Culture Industry: Appropriation, Art, Critique David Mabb Section 3: Literature: Poetry, Art, Translation and Fantasy 10. A Question of Ornament: Poetry and the (Lesser) Arts Elizabeth Helsinger 11. Making Pictures: Pre-Raphaelite Poetry and Its Reception David Latham 12. William Whitla's William Morris and the Classical Tradition William Whitla 13 A Very Animated Conversation on Icelandic Matters : The Saga Translations of William Morris and Eirikr Magnusson Paul Acker 14. Rewilding Morris: Wilderness and the Wild in the Last Romances Phillippa Bennett 15. Windy, Tangible, Resonant Worlds: The Non-Human Fantasy of William Morris John Plotz Section 4: Literature and Socialism 16. William Morris and British Politics: From the Liberal Party to the Socialist League Frank C. Sharp 17. News from Nowhere in the Museum of Literary Interpretations Tony Pinkney 18. William Morris and the Literature and Socialism of the Commonweal Elizabeth C. Miller 19. Desire and Necessity: William Morris and Nature Patrick O'Sullivan 20. Morris and Marxist Theory Owen Holland Section 5: Books: Collecting and Design 21 William Morris's Book Collecting Yuri Cowan 22. William Morris and the Kelmscott Press Nicholas Frankel
Florence S. Boos is the author of two books on Morris's poetry. She has also edited several of his works, and is the general editor of the William Morris Archive.