About this title:
Winner of the Wolfson History Prize, the essential biography of the father of the Arts and Crafts movement. The author, Fiona MacCarthy, is the curator of the National Portrait Gallery's 2014-15 exhibition Anarchy and Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy. "One of the finest biographies ever published in this country". (A. S. Byatt). Since his death in 1896, William Morris has come to be regarded as one of the giants of the Victorian era. But his genius was so many-sided and so profound that its full extent has rarely been grasped. Many people may find it hard to believe that the greatest English designer of his time, possibly of all time, could also be internationally renowned as a founder of the socialist movement, and could have been ranked as a poet together with Tennyson and Browning. With penetrating insight, Fiona MacCarthy has managed to encompass all the different facets of Morris' complex character, shedding light on his immense creative powers as artist and designer of furniture, fabrics, wallpaper, stained glass, tapestry and books, and as a poet, novelist and translator; his psychology and his emotional life; his frenetic activities as polemicist and reformer; and his remarkable circle of friends, literary, artistic and political, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones. Fiona MacCarthy's skilful drawing together of these disparate elements makes for a comprehensive and compelling biography.
A biography of William Morris - designer, writer and poet, and one of the founders of the socialist movement - which knits together the innumerable threads and themes of his life, some of them contradictory.
About the Author:
A well-known broadcaster and critic, Fiona MacCarthy established herself as one of the leading writers of biography in Britain with her widely acclaimed book Eric Gill, published in 1989. Her biography of Byron was described by A. N. Wilson as 'a flawless triumph' and William Morris won the Wolfson History Prize and the Writers' Guild Non-Fiction Award. She most recently published Last Curtsey, a memoir of her early life as a debutanteFiona is a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Hon. Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She was awarded the OBE for services to literature in 2009.
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