The Life of William Morris

The Life of William Morris is in Victorian Books.

The Life of William Morris Volume I

The Life Of William Morris By J. W. Mackail. Volume 1. LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO LONDON, NEW YORK & BOMBAY 1899

The Life of William Morris Volume I Preface

This biography was undertaken by me at the special request of Sir Edward Burne-Jones. I will not attempt to say how much it owes to his guidance and encouragement, nor how much it has lost by their removal.

When the task of writing the life of Morris was placed in my hands, his family and representatives gave me un-reserved access to all the materials in their possession. To them, and more especially to his executors, Mr. F. S. Ellis and Mr. S. C. Cockerell, I owe my best thanks for their friendly help. I am further indebted to Mr. Ellis for the index at the end of the book.

Among the few survivors of Morris's earliest friends, I must express very special obligations to Mr. Cormell Price for generous and ungrudging assistance, and to the Rev. Canon R. W. Dixon. For information as to later years I am greatly indebted to Mr. Philip Webb, Mr. George Wardle, Mr. C. Fairfax Murray, Mr. William De Morgan, and Mr. Emery Walker, who were all long and closely associated with him both in work and in friendship. Messrs. Smith of the firm of Morris & Co., and Mr. J. H. Dearie, the manager of the firm's works at Merton Abbey, have given me access to the early books of the firm and much valuable information with regard to Morris's conduct of the business.

I would take this opportunity of thanking all those others who have communicated letters or other material to me in the course of the work. To Lady Burne-Jones, whose share in the help given me has not been less than that of any one I have named, this is not the place where I can fully express my gratitude,

6, Pembroke Gardens, Kensington. 24th March, 1899.

The Life of William Morris Volume I Contents


CHAPTER I ... Walthamstow, Woodford, and Marlborough: 1834-1852

CHAPTER II ... Oxford: 1853-1855

CHAPTER III ... The Brotherhood: 1855-1856

CHAPTER IV ... Red Lion Square: The Oxford Union: The Defence of Guenevere: 1857-1859

CHAPTER V ... Red House: Formation of the Firm: The Fall of Troy: 1859-1865

CHAPTER VI ... The Earthly Paradise: 1865-1870

CHAPTER VII ... Morris and Kelmscott

CHAPTER VIII ... Journey to Iceland: 1871

CHAPTER IX Love is Enough: Period of Illuminations: Dissolution of the Firm: 1871-1874

CHAPTER X Period of Dyeing: The Æneids: Sigurd the Volsung: 1875-1876

CHAPTER XI The Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings: The Eastern Question Association: Period of Textiles: 1877-1878


CHAPTER XII ... London and Kelmscott: Theories of Art and Life: 1879-1881

CHAPTER XIII ... Merton Abbey: 1881

CHAPTER XIV ... Concentration: 1882

CHAPTER XV ... The Democratic Federation: 1883-1884

CHAPTER XVI ... The Socialist League: 1885-1886

CHAPTER XVII ... The Odyssey: John Ball: Trafalgar Square: 1886-1887

CHAPTER XVIII ... Signs of Change: The Arts and Crafts: Return to Romance: 1888-1889

CHAPTER XIX ... Passive Socialism: Foundation of the Kelmscott Press: 1890-1891

CHAPTER XX ... Printing, Romance-writing, Translation, and Criticism: Final Attitude towards Art and History: 1 891-1893

CHAPTER XXI ... Last Years: The Kelmscott Chaucer: 1894-1896