William Morris (1834-1896) was the most influential designer of the nineteenth century. He was also a scholar, publisher, writer of fiction, translator of ancient texts and a respected poet. His collection The Earthly Paradise (1868-1870) was hugely popular and he was offered the Poet Laureateship on the death of Tennyson, but declined. He founded the Kelmscott Press in the 1890s and was a key figure in the emergence of socialism in Britain, as well as being highly influential in the Arts and Crafts Movement.
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