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This biographical study is a window into 19th-century British society and the life of William Morris-the great craftsman, architect, designer, poet, and writer-who remains a monumental and influential figure to this day. This account chronicles how his concern with artistic and human values led him to cross what he called the “river of fire” and become a committed socialist-committed not only to the theory of socialism but also to the practice of it in the day-to-day struggle of working women and men in Victorian England. While both the British Labor Movement and the Marxists have venerated Morris, this legacy of his life proves that many of his ideas did not accord with the dominant reforming tendencies, providing a unique perspective on Morris scholarship.

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