William Morris—Victorian socialist, designer, poet, artist and craftsman—urged his contemporaries to ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful,’ foregrounding his belief in the importance of beautiful practicality in daily domestic life. This volume of essays seeks to examine the importance of Morris’s interest in everyday life for his art, literature and politics in his own day and beyond. Contributors explore the many aspects of the everyday that informed William Morris’s work—from his utopian socialism to his designs for domestic interiors—and, in the process, show how his insistence on the value of beauty and pleasure in daily life formed the basis of his call for a radical transformation of society. As this volume demonstrates, William Morris’s concern with the ordinary concerns and pleasures of daily life remains relevant in the twenty-first century.
All Rights Available
Wendy Parkins is the author of Mobility, Modernity and Women’s Novels, 1850s–1930s and the co-author of Slow Living. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Otago, New Zealand.