William Morris (Life's summary)
Morris was born in 1834 in Walthamstow, Essex, and received his education at Malborough School. In 1851 he went to Oxford University, where he was influenced by Ruskin's theories; there he met Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In 1859 he married Jane Burder, one of the most painted Pre-Raphaelite stunners; their home at Bexley was designed by Philip Webb, and became an important landmark in domestic architecture. The failure to find suitable furniture for it strenghtened Morris' growing hatred of industrial shoddy. He founded a firm, together with Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Webb, Brown and others, which produced furniture, printed textiles, tapestry, wallpapers and stained glass: it was a revolution in public taste. In the 1880s he turned towards political activity; in 1883 he joined the Social Democratic Federation, the doctrine of which, largely under his leadership, developed into socialism. On its disruption in 1884 he organized the Socialist League. Morris died in 1896.