Born OTD in 1834, British textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement, William Morris. William Morris, the great 19th century craftsman, architect, designer, poet and writer, remains a monumental figure whose influence resonates powerfully today. As an intellectual (and author of the seminal utopian News From Nowhere), his concern with artistic and human values led him to cross what he called the ‘river of fire’ and become a committed socialist-committed not to some theoretical formula but to the day by day struggle of working women and men in Britain and to the evolution of his ideas about art, about work and about how life should be lived.

  Many of his ideas accorded none too well with the reforming tendencies dominant in the Labour movement, nor with … More

This book uncovers the work of sculptor William Simmonds, one of the forgotten originals of the Arts and Crafts movement. Inspired by his pastoral surroundings in the Cotswolds, he played a particularly vital role in the movement between the two world wars. After the First World War Simmonds emerged as a master of woodcarving, known for his exquisite oak, pine, ebony and ivory carvings of wild and domestic creatures. He earned his living by making puppets and became Europe’s most renowned puppet master.

His wife Eve, a well-known embroiderer in her own right, made the puppets’ costumes and accompanied the puppet shows on … More