Book snap Sunday is my weekly bookish Instagram, if you want to join me in this weekly photo challenge please feel free and leave me a link to your photo in the comments below.

I kind of wanted to do a photo of the classic William Morris novel, News from Nowhere, this week after reading this cool article on the BBC site about Morris: The first eco warrior of design, check it out.

Morris is one of my heroes, a designer of genius, an environmentalist, the founder of the arts and crafts movement and a founder of British socialism, a writer and artist. As a writer his style is not to everyone’s taste but he had great influence on the likes of J.R, Tolkien, without Morris we might not have Lord of the Rings. I love Morris for his art, and his passion. His idealism seems naive by today’s standards but there is something beautiful in that naivety. Who are your heroes?

9 thoughts on “#Booksnapsunday Victorian Visionary William Morris

  1. Well, I am so pleased Morris influenced Tolkien, who in turn has influenced many other writers. The chain of influence can be very interesting. I haven’t read Morris but I love the cover of that book and the way you have posed it with other Morris books. I’m a little slow today – hopefully I’ll have something for tomorrow.

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    1. Hi Karen, look forward to seeing anything you post. Morris can be a bit of an acquired taste these days, but it was Morris interest the Icelandic sagas and his early fantasy writing that influenced Tolkien which I always found fascinating. Morris was instrumental in the translation and popularisation of the sagas. He is a fascinating figure of the Victorian age, a bit of a polymath. His designs are just beautiful.

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  2. Fascinating that he influenced Tolkien – gratitude is his due. Is that his design on the book cover?

    You ask about heroes. Two of mine are Frida Kahlo and Flannery O’Connor – both of whom died young and spent a lot of their lives battling pain, but creating in spite of it. They left a mark in a world that didn’t value women as much as men. Whether or not you like their art, you have to realize they could have said the heck with it, and just tried to make their lives easier; instead, they produced work at world-class levels.

    I’m trying to do the same, so I have a special empathy: it is a lot harder to make something from nothing when you’re barely making it through the day.

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    1. Hi Alicia, I am with you on your heroes, although I don’t know a lot about Flannery O’Connor, Frida Kahlo is another of my heroes, I have a postcard pinned above my computer at work with the Frida quote about how we can endure much more than we think we can, which knowing what Frida endured is a poignant reminder.
      And yes the cover is from the Morris tapestry; the Woodpecker.
      You have my admiration in struggling on and creating despite the challenge. I hope today is an easy day for you.


      1. O’Connor struggled with lupus, and died from complications of it at 39. Her dad died from it when she was 13; her mother took care of her. Illness focuses the mind in many ways, some useful for writing, but only IF there are periods of some clarity.

        Thank you. Today, for the first time in a week, the mind DID clear, and I go right back to struggling with and figuring out… the next scene.

        I end today’s writing session in a good place: all the input is in place, and all that’s left is to write, and then make a solid plot/character/theme collection feel like something that happened, that you would want to read, that you will willingly live with the pov character. It’s the good part. Still a lot of work to go, but I always find that when I know WHY this scene is pivotal, why it is in the book and has to go HERE, it gels.

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      2. Glad to hear, I wish I had the discipline to write, you have my admiration, I am way to easily distracted. I really must read Flannery O’Connor she keeps popping up. Good luck with the writing.


  3. William Morris is a legend. A great designer, a visionary and a father of British (eco-)socialism. I bought that same book at his museum/home in London and devoured it. News from nowhere is the first solarpunk novel, and a huge inspiration to solarpunk writers.

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