Writing on the Image: Reading William Morris

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William Morris was a Victorian master of all trades, standing at the forefront of five historic movements in western culture. As the author of The Defence of Guenevere in 1858, he wrote the first book of Pre-Raphaelite poetry. Co-founder of Morris & Co. in 1861, he was the leader of the Arts and Crafts movement, designing textiles, wallpapers, and stained glass. Editor of The Commonweal for the Socialist League in the 1880s and lecturing at political rallies, he was the leader of the socialist movement for revolution in Britain. Founder of the Kelmscott Press in 1891, he was the leader of the private-press movement with his Kelmscott Chaucer among the most beautiful books ever printed. The innovative author of eight prose romances in the 1890s, he was the leading force in shifting the genre of fiction from the novel to the romance, the primary influence on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Writing on the Image is a collection of essays that showcases the varied canon of Morris. The essays demonstrate how the most revolutionary artist, writer, and socialist of the nineteenth century now stands at the centre of interdisciplinary studies in the twenty-first century, challenging academics and artisans alike to pursue an ideal community of scholarship, craftsmanship, and subversive statesmanship.

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University of Toronto Press
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