->''If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.''
-->From a lecture entitled “The Beauty of Life” (1882).

William Morris (1834-1896) was an English designer, artist, writer and socialist.

He is perhaps best known today for his design work: he was a major contributor the revival of traditional textile arts and a major influence on the Arts and Crafts movement.

Horrified by the ugliness and soullessness of nineteenth-century industrial capitalism, Morris became a committed UsefulNotes/{{socialis|m}}t. He was a leading figure in the Socialist League (along with Karl Marx’s daughter Eleanor), and he believed his art, which valued beauty, craftsmanship and nature over mass-production and consumerism, to be an extension of this.

A prolific poet and prose author, his best known written work is ''News from Nowhere'' (1890), a {{utopia}}n novel depicting the idyllic agrarian society he hoped would be created following a socialist revolution. His pseudo-medieval {{fantas|y}}ies, such as ''The Wood Beyond the World'' (1894), ''The Water of the Wondrous Isles'' (1895), and ''The Well at the World’s End'' (1896) were a key influence on both Creator/JRRTolkien and Creator/CSLewis.

Oh, and he also set up a printing press, translated several [[Literature/TheIcelandicSagas Icelandic sagas]] and founded the movement to protect historic buildings in Britain.
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!! Tropes found in the works of William Morris:
* AllJustADream: Ambiguously in ''News from Nowhere.''
* AlliterativeTitle: ''News from Nowhere.'' ''The Wood Beyond the World.'' ''The Well at the World's End.'' ''The Water of the Wondrous Isles.''
* AntiquatedLinguistics: Morris was fond of using pseudo-medieval English, which can make some of his works a little difficult for modern readers.
* {{Arcadia}}: In ''News from Nowhere'', this is his vision of a future following a socialist revolution. Often feature in his medievalist romances too.
* AuthorAppeal: {{The Middle Ages}}, Northern Sagas and nature motifs feature frequently in his work.
* AuthorAvatar: The narrator of ''News from Nowhere'' is clearly this.
* AuthorTract: ''News from Nowhere'' is really just a means for Morris to describe his vision of a socialist utopia.
* TheDungAges: Averted. Morris adored the Middle Ages, or rather a romanticized version, which he contrasted with the dirty, ugly cities of Victorian England.
* EarthyBarefootCharacter: Many of Morris's heroines, such as Ellen in ''News from Nowhere.''
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: The narrator of ''News from Nowhere''.
* GoneSwimmingClothesStolen: Birdalone, the heroine of ''The Water of the Wondrous Isles.'' She spends some time afterwards as an InnocentFanserviceGirl.
* TheHerosJourney: The plot of ''The Wood Beyond the World''.
* TheLostWoods: The ''Wood Beyond the World'', of course.
* TheQuest: Both ''The Well at the World's End'' and ''The Water of the Wondrous Isles'' are long, rambling examples of this.
* RomanticismVersusEnlightenment: Romanticism. Oh so very much.
* TakeThat: ''News from Nowhere'' was written as a riposte to Edward Bellamy's ''Literature/LookingBackward'', a similarly structured AuthorTract about a possible socialist future, but one which Morris hated for its utilitarian drabness.
* TimeTravel: The framing device used in ''News from Nowhere'', as the narrator falls asleep and wakes up in a utopian socialist future. ''The Dream of John Ball'' involves time travel to the peasant’s revolt of 1381.
* WorldBuilding: As noted above, his medieval romances were a model for both Creator/JRRTolkien and Creator/CSLewis.
* YeGoodeOldeDays: Morris liked to paint an idealized image of the Middle Ages.
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