1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to William Morris

Edited By Florence S. Boos Copyright 2021
    556 Pages 52 Color & 60 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    556 Pages 52 Color & 60 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    556 Pages 52 Color & 60 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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 Eiríkr Magnússon

    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.

    "The Companion is an outstanding and extraordinary guide to all aspects of the reformer’s life and work, animated by the recognition that because of Morris’s versatile activities, no single scholar could ever attempt to research all aspects of the man. It has 22 chapters in over 600 pages with very fresh and fascinating visual material, including over 120 mostly unpublished images."

    --Five Books