These volumes bring to a close the only comprehensive edition of the surviving correspondence of William Morris (1834-1896), a protean figure who exerted a major influence as poet, craftsman, master printer, and designer. Volumes III and IV, taken together, give in detail the comments and observations that articulate his problematic political and artistic stands and equally problematic position within the aesthetic movement as it developed in the 1890s. Most eloquently voiced also are the complexities of his troubled marriage and his devotion to his epileptic daughter, Jenny, and his other daughter, May. But dominating all these themes, organizing and structuring them, are the Kelmscott Press and the building of Morris's important library of medieval manuscripts and early printed books. The letters record the way in which the Press becomes not only the center of Morris's aesthetic ambitions and achievements but also the site for his closest human relations and for much of his connecting with the makers of early modernism.
The letters in Volumes III and IV are thoroughly annotated, and through texts and notes provide a new assessment of Morris's career. Included also, as appendices to Volume IV, are two important documents: the first, never before published, is F. S. Ellis's Valuation List of Morris's library, made after Morris's death, and the second, never before reprinted, is the text of what was to be Morris's final essay on socialism, published in April 1896.
Originally published in 1995.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
"In the combination of extreme clarity of detail and dreamlike vagueness in Morris's work we find a true visionary who takes his place in an English tradition with Blake, Turner, and Dickens. . . . There is a directness and simplicity of expression in his writing. . . . "--Peter Ackroyd, The New Yorker
"1996 is the hundredth anniversary of the death of William Morris at the comparatively early age of 62. Various exhibitions and conferences will mark the year, but few events can be as notable as the completion of this edition of Morris's collected letters. . . . The annotations are breathtaking in their thoroughness. . . . [They] will be of extraordinary help to all those in the future who wish to discover more about one of the greatest figures of the nineteenth century. . . . One is deeply grateful to Norman Kelvin for having made so much of William Morris available."--Peter Stansky, Stanford University
"A stunning completion of an altogether admirable edition, beautifully produced and printed. . . . a magnificent achievement in scholarship."--Jerome Buckley, Harvard University
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Norman Kelvin:
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by William Morris: