English Pre-Raphaelite Writer and Designer, 1834-1896
was an English architect, furniture and textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement.
Born in Walthamstow in north London, Morris was educated at Marlborough and Oxford. In 1856, Morris became an apprentice to Gothic revival architect G. E. Street. That same year he founded the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, an outlet for his poetry and a forum for development of his theories of hand-craftsmanship in the decorative arts. In 1861, Morris founded a design firm in partnership with the artist Edward Burne-Jones, and the poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti which had a profound impact on the decoration of churches and houses into the early 20th century. Morris's chief contribution was as a designer of repeating patterns for wallpapers and textiles, many based on a close observation of nature. Morris was also a major contributor to the resurgence of traditional textile arts and methods of production.
Morris wrote and published poetry, fiction, and translations of ancient and medieval texts throughout his life. His best-known works include The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems (1858), The Earthly Paradise (1868?C1870), A Dream of John Ball and the utopian News from Nowhere.
Morris was an important figure in the emergence of socialism in Great Britain, founding the Socialist League in 1884, but breaking with the movement over goals and methods by the end of that decade. Morris devoted much of the rest of his life to the Kelmscott Press which he founded in 1891. The 1896 Kelmscott edition of the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer is considered a masterpiece of book design.