William Morris, Designer, Novelist, Socialist and Artist

4 English Trailblazers Who Changed the World

When William Morris died, his doctor described the cause of death as “simply being William Morris and having done more work than most ten men”. Few people have packed as much into life as he did. In the Victorian era he was best known as a poet, but today he is remembered for his wallpapers, furniture, textiles, stained glass and tiles, and his designs are found all over the world. Meet a man of charm and unpredictability, of great human sympathy and knowledge, a man whose legacy is alive and well in our world today.

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Morris has exerted a powerful influence on thinking about art and design over the past century. He has been the constant niggle in the conscience. How can we combat all this luxury and waste? What drove him into revolutionary activism was his anger and shame at the injustices within society. He burned with guilt at the fact that his ‘good fortune only’ allowed him to live in beautiful surroundings and to pursue the work he adored.”
– Fiona MacCarthy

A towering figure in Victorian Britain

Morris’s personal life was not always happy – he had to share his wife with a close friend, Dante Gabriel Rosetti. Discover how this man, born into middle class affluence, became a staunch revolutionary and an atheist. See how he pre-dated Marie Kondo in his belief that one should “have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. Learn how he encouraged women to enter his employment, how he regenerated traditional crafts, and why he is considered “the single most important figure in textile production”.

Few people have packed as much into life as this artist, poet, novelist (he helped established the fantasy genre), textile designer, craftsman, socialist (he founded the Socialist League in 1884), translator, conservationist (he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) and printer. As a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, he established a decorative arts firm which became fashionable. His designs are found all over the world. He was a towering figure in Victorian Britain and today a William Morris Society cares for his legacy. Two of his former homes are museums.

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This Zoom video is a real treat! Taken from a live-streamed presentation, it has been carefully recorded and completely edited to deliver the experience of being part of an audience and having the best seat in the house. It is about 60 minutes full of intriguing information about this Scottish Trailblazer and includes audience participation. Buy it now and view your video immediately. Just $15, purchase access here.

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