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News from Nowhere (Victoria and Albert Museum)

William Morris

£29.95

Published in association with the V&A, an exquisite facsimile of the Kelmscott Press edition of William Morris’s seminal 1890 novel - with an introduction by Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury

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Overview

News from Nowhere caused a stir with its unusual blend of utopian socialism and science fiction when it was first published in instalments in William Morris's socialist newspaper The Commonweal in 1890. The Kelmscott Press edition, printed in 1892 and reproduced in this facsimile edition, was a triumph of book design and making.

After attending a Socialist League meeting and returning home to the London suburb of Hammersmith, narrator William Guest awakens the next day to find himself in the twenty-first century. Industrial buildings have been transformed into a pastoral paradise; civilians are dressed in fourteenth-century costume; there is an abundance of open-air markets and wooded areas and gardens; and money, prisons and divorce have been abolished. The bewildered but enchanted Guest embarks on a journey across London and up the Thames to Kelmscott Manor, during which he learns that England, now called 'Nowhere', has become a decentralized and humane socialist society following a revolutionary upheaval. Part utopia and part romance, News from Nowhere is William Morris's depiction of an ideal nation peopled with 'happy and lovely folk, who had cast away riches and attained to wealth.'

In its appreciation that industrial capitalism has alienated us from the world we actually inhabit, News from Nowhere is as relevant today as when it was first published. The beautiful Kelmscott Press edition, like the narrative itself, embodies Morris's belief that art and beauty should be accessible to all.

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Reviews

'This facsimile edition [...] reproduces the original book in all its visually stunning glory'
The Lady

Further Details

Specifications

Format: Hardback

Size: 20.6 x 14.2 cm

Extent: 324 pp

Illustrations: 312

Publication date: 23 February 2017

ISBN: 9780500519394

About the Author

William Morris (1834-1896) was an English artist, designer, social reformer and writer associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the Arts and Crafts Movement. One of the most influential thinkers and artists of his time, his interest in politics and social reform led him to help found the Socialist League in 1884. Morris's belief in art as the expression of joy in labour had its final flowering in the Kelmscott Press, which he established in 1891 and which was to have a profound influence on book design and production.

Dr Rowan Williams was the Archbishop of Canterbury, 2002 — 2012, and is now Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge. He has written on a wide range of theological, historical and political themes and is also a noted poet.

List of Contributors

Rowan Williams