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Part 1 Romance: the story of the unknown Church; a King's lesson; two extracts from "A Dream of John Ball"; "News from Nowhere". Part 2 Lectures: the lesser arts; some hints on pattern-designing; useful work versus useless toil; the hopes of civilization. Part 3 Occasional prose: "Looking Backward" - a review of "Looking Backward" by Edward Bellamy; under an elm-tree, or, thoughts in the countryside; preface in "The Nature of Gothic" by John Ruskin; foreword to "Utopia" by Sir Thomas More; how I became a socialist; a note by William Morris on his aims in founding the Kelmscott Press. Part 4 Letters: [the Eastern question]: letter to the "Daily News"; [anti-scrape]: letter to the "Athenaeum"; [St Mark's, Venice]: letter to the "Daily News".
William Morris (1834-1896) was one of the most influential thinkers and artists of his time. At Oxford, with the painter Burne-Jones, he fell under the influence of Ruskin and Rossetti. Preoccupied with the poverty of modern design he taught himself at least thirteen crafts and founded his own design firm, Morris & Co. In the late 1870s he became active in political and environmentalist matters and converted to socialism in 1883, helping to found the Socialist League a year later. Clive Wilmer read English at King's College, Cambridge. He also edited Ruskin and Rossetti for the Penguin Classics, and has translated poetry from several languages.