Legacy Library: William Morris

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Member: WilliamMorris

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About meI was born on 24 March, 1834. I have loved the Middle Ages since I was a boy, wearing my own suit of armour and riding my pony, like a knight of old, going on quests through Epping Forest. I met my lifelong friend and collaborator Edward Burne-Jones (Ned) when we were both students; we discovered Malory and Chaucer together. We both expected to become Anglican priests, but our attachment to the Middle Ages was such that we felt we had been born out of our proper time, and so we decided to dedicate our lives to medieval architecture, art, design and literature. Through Ned I came to know Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and we three worked together with other friends on a murals project to decorate the Oxford Union Library starting in 1857, and I began to write poetry around the same time. I also met my future wife Jane Burden in Oxford. We lived in Red House at first, during which time I set up the design firm which eventually became known as Morris & Co., before going to Iceland on a research trip. I began publishing my translations of Norse sagas upon my return, and became increasingly involved in the Socialist movement. In 1875, Janey and I moved to Kelmscott Manor with our two daughters, sharing the space with Rossetti. In 1891, I established the Kelmscott Press in Hammersmith. Ned and I collaborated on several books, including an edition of Chaucer's tales. This book was my final work before my death in 1896.

About my librarySources include:Fiona MacCarthy, "William Morris: a life for our time" (London: Faber and Faber, 2010).Linda Parry, "William Morris" (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996).Norman Kelvin (ed.), "The Collected Letters of William Morris" (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987-1996), 3 volumes.

GroupsLegacy Libraries

Favorite authorsGeoffrey Chaucer, Sir Thomas Malory (Shared favorites)

Real nameWilliam Morris

Account typepublic, free

URLs /profile/WilliamMorris (profile)
/catalog/WilliamMorris (library)

Member sinceJan 5, 2012

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