Event—How William Morris Framed Utopia

One of the blessings that my passion for the Arts and Crafts Movement has brought upon me is coming to know some wonderful scholars of John Ruskin and William Morris, the Movement’s seminal figures. I’m proud to announce that two of these scholars, Clive Wilmer and Nicholas Friend, will be in town over the holidays and taking part in a couple of events I’ve helped organize. Of chief interest to likely readers of this blog will be:

The Guild of St George and the Friends of First Church of Berkeley present

A Conversation About How We Might Live
Clive Wilmer and Nicholas Friend

Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 7:30 PM

The First Church of Christ, Scientist
2619 Dwight Way (at Bowditch), Berkeley, California

In 1890, with Britain in the throes of the industrial revolution, William Morris wrote his utopian romance, News From Nowhere, in which he described his uplifting dream of what civilization might become—the friend, rather than the enemy, of nature, fraternity, cultural heritage, and worthy and pleasurable labor. A powerful vision, it inspired social reform movements and communities rooted in utopian ideals.

Clive Wilmer

Clive Wilmer, Master of the Guild of St George

Clive Wilmer edited the Penquin Classics anthology, William Morris: News From Nowhere and Other Writings. He was born in Harrogate in 1945, grew up in London and was educated at King’s College, Cambridge. He is Emeritus Fellow in English at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and an Honorary Fellow of Anglia Ruskin university. He is a poet with seven collections of poetry published. Besides the Morris anthology, he has edited editions of John Ruskin, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In 2009 he was appointed Master of the Guild of St George, the charity founded by Ruskin in 1871. He has edited the essays of Thom Gunn and Donald Davie, and has translated widely from modern Hungarian poetry. An occasional broadcaster, he fronted BBC Radio 3’s Poet of the Month programs.

Nicholas Friend

Nicholas Friend

Nicholas Friend was born in London and educated at Oxford and Cambridge. He was a Morris Society Committee member for ten years and served as chair of the Committee celebrating the centenary of Morris’s News from Nowhere in 1990. He has regularly lectured on Morris for Sotheby’s in London, UK. For 25 years he was Academic Director of the Cambridge University Art History Summer School, and next year he celebrates 30 years as Founder-Director of the London cultural study society, INSCAPE. He regularly lectures in London at the Art Workers Guild in Bloomsbury London, and leads arts, architectural and heritage study tours in the UK, US and Europe. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, he is also a Companion of the Guild of St George. He and Clive Wilmer have been colleagues and good friends for 30 years.

Yours truly will moderate.

And, for the second event..

Nicholas Friend will also be speaking at the Berkeley Hillside Club on Thursday, December 17 at 7:30 on “The Hillside Club and the True Meaning of Civilization.” Watch The Hillside Club Round Table’s webpage for more information.

If you live in the Bay Area, or find yourself here for the holidays, I very much hope you’ll come!


Frontispiece, Kelmscott edition of News From Nowhere

Frontispiece, Kelmscott edition of News From Nowhere

« Back to Blog

4 thoughts on “Event—How William Morris Framed Utopia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *