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Wonderlands

The Last Romances of William Morris

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Phillippa Bennett

William Morris’s last romances are strikingly original stories written in his final years, but they remain relatively neglected in both Morris studies and nineteenth-century literary studies. This book provides a full-length critical account of these works and their essential role in promoting the continuing importance of Morris’s ideas.
Approaching these romances through the concept of wonder, this book provides a new way of understanding their relevance to his writings on art and architecture, nature and the environment, and politics and Socialism. It establishes the integral connection between the romances and Morris’s diverse cultural, social and political interests and activities, suggesting ways in which we might understand these tales as a culmination of Morris’s thought and practice. Through a comprehensive analysis of these remarkable narratives, this book makes a significant contribution to both work on William Morris and to nineteenth-century studies more generally.
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Phillippa Bennett and Rosie Miles

William Morris was one of the outstanding writers, artists and political activists of the nineteenth century. This book examines the significance of his legacy and his continuing influence in the twenty-first century. Currently many of Morris’s primary concerns are once again at the forefront of social, political and academic debate, and his work continues to attract interest across a range of academic disciplines. Now is a particularly apt time for the publication of this collection of new essays, which opens up original areas of debate and encourages innovative ways of approaching and understanding William Morris in a new century.
The book contains essays from scholars and professionals researching and working in fields relevant to Morris’s diverse interests. The contributors offer a reappraisal of his achievements and influence in areas such as literature, art, architecture, politics, environmentalism, science and technology. The essays provide a comprehensive introduction for those new to Morris Studies whilst presenting a series of fresh perspectives for those already familiar with Morris’s work.