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Socialist League

Book Reviews: 'William Morris. His Life, Work and Friends', & 'Political Writings of William Morris'

Revolutionary Art & Socialism

'William Morris. His Life, Work and Friends', by Philip Henderson. Penguin. 90p.
'Political Writings of William Morris', ed. by A. L. Morton. Lawrence and Wishart. £1.

Book Review: 'William Morris - The Man and The Myth'

William Morris as a socialist

'William Morris - The Man and The Myth', by R. Page Arnot

William Morris, the poet and designer of the Victorian era, is not generally thought of as a Marxian Socialist. He is either praised for his artistic contributions or pictured as a Utopian sentimentalist. In fact Morris was a prominent and active member of one of the pioneer Marxist organisations in Britain, the Socialist League, which was founded in 1884 by a group of people who broke away from the Social Democratic Federation because of the dictatorial attitude of its founder, H. M. Hyndman.

Book Review: 'The Day is Coming'

The above is the title of a book by William Cameron (MacMillan, New York). It is the story of a craftsman who commenced work in the 'eighties. The story finishes just before the outbreak of the present war. The book is divided into three periods: the first is concerned with the establishment of the Arts and Crafts Guild in the East End of London; the second describes the transfer and establishment of the Guild in the beautiful little old town of Westencote in the Cotswold Hills, where it flourished for ten years and then collapsed, killed by commercial competition: the third period covers the privations of the craftsman and his family back in London, and the way he climbed up to comfort again.

Book Review: 'The Slow Burning Fuse'

Fizzling out

'The Slow Burning Fuse' by John Quail. Paladin, £1.95

Quail's aim to present "the lost history of the British anarchists" between 1880 and 1930. His account is primarily a narrative one, with little emphasis on theoretical matters — which is just as well, since the theoretical discussions are the weakest part of the book. Quail's researches have led him to uncover a number of near-forgotten incidents and personalities, some of which are recounted interestingly here. Particularly noteworthy is the tale of the Walsall Anarchists arrested in 1892 and sentenced to terms of imprisonment (ten years in three cases) for a bomb-making conspiracy that was largely the inspiration of a police agent provocateur.

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