William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary

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9780804715096: William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary

William Morris-the great 19th century craftsman, architect, designer, poet and writer-remains a monumental figure whose influence resonates powerfully today. As an intellectual (and author of the seminal utopian News From Nowhere), his concern with artistic and human values led him to cross what he called the 'river of fire' and become a committed socialist-committed not to some theoretical formula but to the day by day struggle of working women and men in Britain and to the evolution of his ideas about art, about work and about how life should be lived. Many of his ideas accorded none too well with the reforming tendencies dominant in the Labour movement, nor with those of 'orthodox' Marxism, which has looked elsewhere for inspiration. Both sides have been inclined to venerate Morris rather than to pay attention to what he said. Originally written less than a decade before his groundbreaking The Making of the English Working Class, E.P. Thompson brought to this biography his now trademark historical mastery, passion, wit, and essential sympathy. It remains unsurpassed as the definitive work on this remarkable figure, by the major British historian of the 20th century.

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Product Description:

This biographical study is a window into 19th-century British society and the life of William Morris—the great craftsman, architect, designer, poet, and writer—who remains a monumental and influential figure to this day. This account chronicles how his concern with artistic and human values led him to cross what he called the “river of fire” and become a committed socialist—committed not only to the theory of socialism but also to the practice of it in the day-to-day struggle of working women and men in Victorian England. While both the British Labor Movement and the Marxists have venerated Morris, this legacy of his life proves that many of his ideas did not accord with the dominant reforming tendencies, providing a unique perspective on Morris scholarship.

About the Author:

E. P. Thompson was an English historian, socialist, and author of  Making of the English Working Class. Peter Linebaugh is a social historian and a professor at the University of Toledo. He is the author of London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century. He lives in Toledo, Ohio.

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Thompson, E.P.
Published by Stanford Univ Press (1988)
ISBN 10: 0804715092 ISBN 13: 9780804715096
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