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A Dream of John Ball by William Morris
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A Dream of John Ball

by William Morris

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The great thing about John Ball is, of course, that little is known of him: this means that Morris is at liberty to create a character and he makes full use of this fact.

The story is of a dream meeting between the author and Ball. The rev. tells Morris about his struggle for the common man and our author reciprocates by telling him that the lot of the common man has not improved greatly by his day. This upsets Ball, but will not deflect him from going to what he now knows to be certain death for the cause. Ball is an almost Christ-like figure in his willingness to sacrifice himself for the greater good.

For reasons best be-known, this book marries 'A Dream...' with 'A King's Lesson'; a seven page short story of a good King who understands the unfair nature of this world, but knows that even he is unable to rectify the situation. This story strikes me as a little too obvious in its moral but, the book, as a whole, has much to recommend it. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Aug 17, 2014 |
This is an early piece of Socialist literature, and for 1886 pretty good. A real picture of the Nineteenth Century is impossible without it. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 30, 2014 |
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