Faber Members get 10% off their first order

William Morris: A Life for Our Time

Fiona MacCarthy

William Morris: A Life for Our Time by Fiona MacCarthy is the magisterial biography of one of the great figures of Victorian arts and crafts, from one of our greatest popular historians.

Out of stock

Buy from
Date Published
All orders are sent via Royal Mail and are tracked: choose from standard or premium delivery.

Winner of the Wolfson History Prize, and described by A.S.Byatt as ‘one of the finest biographies ever published’, this is Fiona MacCarthy’s magisterial biography of William Morris, legendary designer and father of the Victorian Arts and Crafts movement.

‘Thrilling, absorbing and majestic.’ Independent
‘Wonderfully ambitious … The definitive Morris biography.’ Sunday Times
‘Delicious and intelligent, full of shining detail and mysteries respected.’ Daily Telegraph
Oh, the careful detail of this marvellous book! . . . A model of scholarly biography’. New Statesman

Since his death in 1896, William Morris has been celebrated as a giant of the Victorian era. But his genius was so multifaceted and so profound that its full extent has rarely been grasped. Many people may find it hard to believe that the greatest English designer of his time – possibly of all time – could also be internationally renowned as a founder of the socialist movement, and ranked as a poet with Tennyson and Browning.

In her definitive biography – insightful, comprehensive, addictively readable – the award-winning Fiona MacCarthy gives us a richly detailed portrait of Morris’s complex character for the first time, shedding light on his immense creative powers as artist and designer of furniture, fabrics, wallpaper, stained glass, tapestry, and books; his role as a poet, novelist and translator; on his psychology and his emotional life; his frenetic activities as polemicist and reformer; and his remarkable circle of friends, literary, artistic and political, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones. It is a masterpiece of biographical art.

Critic Reviews

'Thrilling, absorbing and majestic.'

Critic Reviews

'Wonderfully ambitious ... The definitive Morris biography.'

Daily Telegraph
Critic Reviews

'Delicious and intelligent, full of shining detail and mysteries respected.'

Sunday Times
Critic Reviews

'Oh, the careful detail of this marvellous book! . . . A model of scholarly biography'.

New Statesman

A former Guardian critic, Fiona MacCarthy established herself as one of the leading writers of biography in Britain with her widely acclaimed Eric Gill (1989). Her next book, William Morris (1994), won the Wolfson History Prize. Her Byron: Life and Legend (2002) has been described as ‘one of the great literary biographies of our time’. She also received the James…

Read More