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

  title={Communism in Furs: A Dream of Prehistory in William Morris's John Ball},
  author={Stephen F. Eisenman},
  journal={The Art Bulletin},
  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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Ælfric’s Catholic Homilies: The Second Series, ed. Malcolm C. Godden, Early English Text Society, s.s. 5, London: Oxford University Press, 1979. Ascham, Roger, Toxophilus, ed. Edward Arber, London:

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The plate depicts "The Earl of Derby Taking Leave of the King and Lords of France at Paris

  • trans. ThomasJohnes (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1868)

Bijou library" published by William Reeves in the 1880s and 1890s give one indication of the breadth and vitality of this intellectual culture

  • The dozens of titles comprising the "Bellamy Library" and

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

    John the Miller: see Walsingham

    • Historia Anglicana

    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

      dicendum et iurandum quod noluerunt aliquam legem in Anglia habere nisi tantummodo certas per ipsos motas ordinandum

      • Lawrence Poos, Rural Soc;,ty aftn tM Blat:k Death: Essex 1150-1525

      A design for the Kelmscott frontispiece design is in the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow; a marked proof of the frontispiece is at the library of Claremont College

        Remembering the Peasants' Revolt

        • Essex and the Grea: &voll of JJ81
        • 1981

        Section of Applied Art: The Presidential Address