A powerful reappraisal of radicalism in the life and work of William Morris.
To Build a Shadowy Isle of Bliss casts new light on the political radicalism and social thought of nineteenth-century artist, author, and revolutionary, William Morris. Standing on the cusp of a new wave of scholarship, this book presents an exciting convergence of views among internationally renowned scholars in the field of Victorian Studies.
Balancing variety and unity, this collection reappraises Morris’s concept of social change and asks how we might think beyond the institutions and epistemologies of our time. Though the political significance of Morris’s creative work is often underestimated, the essays in this volume showcase its subtlety and sophistication. Each chapter discerns the power and novelty of Morris’s radicalism within his aesthetic creations and demonstrates how his most compelling political ideas bloomed wherever his dexterous hand had been at work - in wallpapers, floral borders, medievalist romances, and verse. Morris's theory and practice of aesthetic creation can be seen as the crucible of his entire philosophy of social change.
In situating Morris's radicalism at the heart of his creative legacy, and in reanimating debates about nineteenth-century art and politics, To Build a Shadowy Isle of Bliss challenges and expands received notions of the radical, the aesthetic, and the political.