Communism in Furs: A Dream of Prehistory in William Morris's John Ball

@article{Eisenman2005CommunismIF,
  title={Communism in Furs: A Dream of Prehistory in William Morris's John Ball},
  author={Stephen F. Eisenman},
  journal={The Art Bulletin},
  year={2005},
  volume={87},
  pages={110 - 92}
}
William Morris was engaged in most major political causes of his day, yet his writing and designs are marked by archaism. Influenced by Morgan and Engels, Morris believed that history progressed in an upward spiral, with a “backward as well as forward movement.” Thus, the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, the subject of Morris's novel A Dream of John Ball and Burne-Jones's etching, left a profound imprint on the consciousness of later revolutionaries. The medieval ideal of primitive communism… 

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On social evolution, Morgan, and the necessity to engage the past in order to organize the future, see William Morris and Belfort Bax, Socialism:Its Growth and Outcome

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    The drawings may also be related to Burne-lones's stained glass of a Viking ship (1884, Delaware An Museum, Wilmington) originally installed at Vinland

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