1834-1896
portrait

March 24, 1834, Walthamstow, England.

October 3, 1896, Kelmscott House, Hammersmith, England.

St. George churchyard, Kelmscott, Oxfordshire, England.

Morris was a textile designer, artist, writer, and libertarian socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement. He founded a design firm in partnership with artist Edward Burne-Jones, and poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, which profoundly influenced the decoration of churches and houses into the early 20th Century. As an author, illustrator and medievalist, he helped establish the modern fantasy genre, and was a direct influence on postwar authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien (The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings). He was also a major contributor to reviving traditional textile arts and methods of production, and helped found the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, now a statutory element in historic building preservation in Britain.

Morris wrote and published poetry, fiction, and translations of ancient and medieval texts throughout his life. He was an important figure in the emergence of socialism in Britain, founding the Socialist League in 1884, but breaking with that organization over goals and methods by the end of the decade. He devoted much of the rest of his life to the Kelmscott Press, which he founded in 1891. Kelmscott was devoted to publishing limited edition, illuminated style print books; its 1896 edition of the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer is considered a masterpiece of book design.

Morris’ works include:

  1. From Far Away