Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Previously Published Works bannerUC Berkeley

William Morris: The Modern Self, Art, and Politics


A concern to pin ideological labels on Morris has obscured the continuing importance of romanticism and Protestantism for his socialist politics. Romanticism led him to seek self-realisation in an art based on naturalness and harmony, and Protestantism led him to do so in the everyday worlds of work and domestic life. From Ruskin, he took a sociology linking the quality of art to the extent of such self-realisation in daily life. Even after he turned to Marxism, he still defined his socialist vision in terms of good art produced and enjoyed within daily life. Moreover, his over-riding concern to promote a new spirit of art, not his dislike of Hyndman, led him to a purist politics, that is, to look with suspicion on almost all forms of political action.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View