News from Nowhere

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Courier Corporation, 2004 - Fiction - 193 pages
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One of the most literary and readable of utopian novels, News from Nowhere chronicles the impressions of a nineteenth-century visitor to the twenty-second century, who finds England transformed into a socialist paradise. Morris’ idyllic society echoes themes from the writings of Ruskin and Marx but forms a distinctive expression of the author’s own egalitarian views. A distillation of Morris’ mature reflections on politics, art and society, this work was regarded as an exercise in sentimentality upon its 1890 publication. Modern readers, however, are likely to find resonance in its critique of state socialism and its proposals for an alternative society.
 

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Contents

CHAP
1
C0NcERN1Nc POLITICS
76
UP THE RIvER
128
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Morris was the Victorian Age's model of the Renaissance man. Arrested in 1885 for preaching socialism on a London street corner (he was head of the Hammersmith Socialist League and editor of its paper, The Commonweal, at the time), he was called before a magistrate and asked for identification. He modestly described himself upon publication (1868--70) as "Author of "The Earthly Paradise,' pretty well known, I think, throughout Europe." He might have added that he was also the head of Morris and Company, makers of fine furniture, carpets, wallpapers, stained glass, and other crafts; founder of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings; and founder, as well as chief designer, for the Kelmscott Press, which set a standard for fine book design that has carried through to the present. His connection to design is significant. Morris and Company, for example, did much to revolutionize the art of house decoration and furniture in England. Morris's literary productions spanned the spectrum of styles and subjects. He began under the influence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti with a Pre-Raphaelite volume called The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems (1858); he turned to narrative verse, first in the pastoral mode ("The Earthly Paradise") and then under the influence of the Scandinavian sagas ("Sigurd the Volsung"). After "Sigurd," his masterpiece, Morris devoted himself for a time exclusively to social and political affairs, becoming known as a master of the public address; then, during the last decade of his life, he fused these two concerns in a series of socialist romances, the most famous of which is News from Nowhere (1891).

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