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News from Nowhere (Broadview literary texts) [Paperback]

William Morris
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Oct 2002 Broadview literary texts
Written in 1890, at the close of William Morris’s most intense period of political activism, News from Nowhere is a compelling articulation of his mature views on art, work, community, family, and the nature and structure of the ideal society. A utopian narrative of a future society, it is also an immensely entertaining novel.

This Broadview edition includes a wide variety of contextualizing documents, including portions of Morris’s essays, lectures, and journalism; excerpts from precursor utopian texts; writings on Bloody Sunday, art, work, and revolution; and contemporary reviews.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Broadview Press Ltd (15 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551112671
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551112671
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,440,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"This astute and long overdue reappraisal provides a lucid overview and a wealth of contextual information. An excellent resource." -- Shannon L. Rogers, Saint Joseph’s University, Editor, Newsletter of the William Morris Society in the United States

"through his insightful introduction and careful selection of documents, [Arata] has created an invaluable edition of News from Nowhere." -- Peter Stansky, Stanford University

About the Author

Stephen Arata is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Fictions of Loss in the Victorian Fin de Siecle (Cambridge University Press, 1996).

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A neglected gem 28 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having recently re-read Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World", I was interested to see that the ideas contained in the book had been influenced by the political ideas and philosophy contained in both "News from Nowhere" (William Morris) and "Looking Backward" (Edward Bellamy). I decided to buy both.

Currently (October 2009) I have not read Bellamy - but have read Morris with a dgree of pleasure and satisfaction I rarely gain from political tracts.

The writing and story is straightforward yet contains profound insights into the workings of a brutal capitalist economy and the ways in which a more gentle, human centred economic system could exist.

This new world contains wit, romance and friendship but is not sentimentalised; problems exist and the issues are how to solve them for the benefit of all.

It was a delightful and politically stirring book. Read it and have some faith restored! Overall - as important as Huxley's work
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best utopian books 30 April 2009
I've come across 'News from nowhere' in a phase during which I was reading plenty of utopian books (Gulliver's Travels, 1984, Brave New World, We, Darkness at Noon), and I found this to be one of the best.

During a boat trip on the Thames from Hammersmith to Oxford, Morris realises to be living in a utopic communist society, and he's led to investigate it and understand it. The book is certainly thought provoking.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
William Morris is best known for his involvement in the Pre-Raphaelite movement and as one of the greatest European pattern-designers since the Middle Ages. He was also a campaigning socialist, a pioneering environmentalist, and a lyric poet, as well as a journalist and a storyteller with a penchant for making his dreams reality. Much of his prose writings focused on the theme of an earthly paradise, which is the subject of "News from Nowhere." First published in serial form in the "Commonweal" in 1890, this novella offers Morris' ideal future for England as a pastoral society born out of revolution. A true utopian vision of the future, it is largely forgotten in comparison to the dramatic dystopian works such as "Brave New World" and "Nineteen Eighty-Four," which have dominated the interest of scholars and students.
"News from Nowhere, or, An Epoch of Rest: being some chapters from a Utopian Romance" tells the story of a young Englishman who goes to bed one night in his London home and wakes up in a strange world where his "neighbors" talk about the year 2001 as thought it had happened in the past. Morris depicts an England where radical changes have altered not only the way things look but the key elements of the society, which is now structured according to the ideals of communism. This means a world without money or private property but with a perfect equality between all citizens who share in the daily labor.
In addition to these common features of a utopian society, Morris argues that labor would be regarded as a pleasure rather than as a chore. This is possible because in the ideal world Morris envisions every citizen does the job that matches their skills and is able to take pride in the fruit of their labors.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David Leopold's 'News from Nowhere' 23 Feb 2008
David Leopold has given us a splendid edition of Morris's text for general reading and teaching purposes. His lucid, thoughtful introduction is excellent on Morris's relationship both to Edward Bellamy's 'Looking Backward' and to the utopian tradition more generally. His footnotes are full and informative, with one or two intriguingly quirky moments too! Reasonably priced, this is definitely the edition to get in our students's hands.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More moving than I had expected 5 Jun 2014
By Michael
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For what is basically a didactic, political novel, this is remarkably moving and intelligent. Give it a read, it's short.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 17 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would like to highly recommend this great book, and it arrived via fast delivery, and in good condition. Thank you very much indeed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Morris being dreamily idealistic
Morris published this book in 1890, at the age of 56, six years before his death, just as the Socialist League which he had founded had disintegrated and effectively put an end to... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Ralph Blumenau
5.0 out of 5 stars My stepdad loved this
I bought this for part of my stepdad's birthday present. He'd recently been on a William Morris holiday and he absolutely loved this. It's well priced and arrived super fast. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Preston Girl
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting insight
Left-wing writers sometimes claim Morris as a socialist to sit alongside the likes of Keir Hardie, a pioneer of the British labour movement. Read more
Published on 1 Dec 2011 by Peasant
3.0 out of 5 stars somewhat disappointing
Morris's work starts off promisingly with a contemporary (1890) man transported to an idyllic, initially seemingly Medieval London, which later turns out to be a pastoral,... Read more
Published on 6 April 2011 by John Hopper
4.0 out of 5 stars Comments from Somewhere
A strange little book. Its vision of the future is way off target for the Sci Fi buffs but compelling for the Morris fans and sits well with other Utopia novels. Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2011 by R. D. Keenan
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting as a portrait of the author, but thankfully short
Yes, that William Morris. This is his attempt at writing a Utopia. The world he describes is a rural "idyll" which doesn't look particularly idyllic to me, in which private... Read more
Published on 25 July 2009 by D. R. Cantrell
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