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“When we are dreaming alone it is only a dream. When we are dreaming together it is the beginning of reality.”Helder Camara

Angel Oak Tree, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Photo: pinterest.com

William Morris, Britain's most inspiring designer: Walthamstow’s Gift to the World

Simplicity of life, even the barest, is not a misery, but the very foundation of refinement: a sanded floor and whitewashed walls, and the green trees, and flowery meads, and living waters outside; or a grimy palace amid the smoke with a regiment of housemaids always working to smear the dirt together so that it may be unnoticed; which, think you, is the most refined, the most fit for a gentleman of those two dwellings…?

And then from simplicity of life would rise up the longing for beauty, which cannot yet be dead in men’s souls, and we know that nothing can satisfy that demand but intelligent work rising gradually into imaginative work; which will turn all “operatives” into workmen, into artists, into men.’William Morris

William Morris: A Man for All Times


The historian EP Thompson characterised Morris as “one of those men whom history will never overtake.”

William Morris, photographed by Frederick Hollyer in 1884. Photograph: © National Portrait Gallery, London

William Morris, born on 24 March 1834 at Elm House, Walthamstow, East London, was a revolutionary force in Victorian Britain: Known for his fantastic floral prints, William Morris designed tapestries, wallpaper, fabrics and furniture during the latter part of the 19th century. He was also a celebrated artist, poet, writer and social activist. His genius was so many-sided and so profound that its full extent has rarely been grasped. Many people may find it hard to believe that the greatest English designer of his time, possibly of all time, could also be internationally renowned as a founder of the socialist movement, and could have been ranked as a poet together with Tennyson and Browning. His designs are still widely used today and so are many of his ideas and principles. Morris has enabled us to dare to imagine and envision a more beautiful world. Throughout his life he laboured through his creative endeavours to beautify the earth and the lives of those who dwell upon it. Long may it be so.