William Morris

William Morris, an English designer, craftsman, poet, and early socialist (born March 24, 1834, in Walthamstow, near London, England—died October 3, 1896, in Hammersmith, near London), is credited with inspiring the Arts and Crafts movement in England and revolutionizing Victorian taste with his designs for furniture, fabrics, stained glass, wallpaper, and other decorative arts.

William Morris
William Morris

Early career and education 

Morris was a member of a sizable and affluent family when he was born in an Essex village on the southern outskirts of Epping Forest. He entered Marlborough College at age 13 after graduating from his preparatory school. At the time, he was described as “a thick-set, strong-looking boy, with a high colour and black curly hair, good-natured and kind, but with a fearful temper” by a schoolmate. Later on, Morris claimed that he had learned “next to nothing” at Marlborough because there was virtually no instruction. He only learned what he wanted to learn, as he would later learn.

Social life in Iceland

Morris first found fame and success as a poet with the romantic novella The Life and Death of Jason (1867). Shortly after, a collection of narrative poems based on ancient and medieval sources, The Earthly Paradise (1868–70), followed. The introductory poems on the months, in which Morris discusses his personal unhappiness, are the highlights of The Earthly Paradise. His most notable poetic achievement, the epic Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs (1876), which he wrote after a thorough study of, reflects a more stern spirit. Morris read the original Old Norse versions of the sagas (medieval prose narratives). A Book of Verse, published in 1870 and beautifully illuminated, tells another story of hopeless love and is dedicated to Georgina Burne-Jones.

The Kelmscott Press. 

Emery Walker, a printer and type designer, served as the Kelmscott Press’s typographic advisor when it was founded in 1891. The press released 53 titles in 66 volumes from that year to 1898. Morris created three different typefaces for his press: Troy type, a gothic font based on the early German printers of the 15th century; Golden type, a style inspired by French printer Nicolas Jenson from the same era; and Chaucer type, a scaled-down version of Troy, used to print The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer in the final years of Morris’s life. Chaucer is the most elaborate of the Kelmscott works and one of the finest examples of the art of the printed book. The majority of the other Kelmscott books were straightforward and unadorned, as Morris noted that books from the 15th century were “always beautiful by force of the mere typography.

Evaluation and death

Morris’s waning energy was not revived by a sea trip to Norway in the summer of 1896, and after returning home that fall, exhausted from his many endeavors, he passed away. He was laid to rest in the churchyard of Kelmscott beneath a straightforward grave marker created by Webb.
Morris, who embraced romance, myth, and epic in place of what he called “the dull squalor of civilization,” is now regarded as a modern and visionary thinker. Morris, who shared Ruskin’s definition of beauty in art, questioned how people could care about art if they didn’t care about going about their daily lives without destroying the world. Morris believed that art encompassed the entirety of the built environment.
The Earthly Paradise author William Morris was best known in his own era for his wallpaper, textile, and carpet designs.  Morris has been lauded as a designer and craftsman since the middle of the 20th century. Future generations might hold him in higher regard as a social and moral critic and a founder of the egalitarian society.

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