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News from Nowhere, or, an Epoch of Rest : being some chapters from a utopian romance [Kindle Edition]

William Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 317 KB
  • Print Length: 248 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TPDP2W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,014 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dream, rather than a vision 27 Oct. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well over a century since he wrote `News From Nowhere', William Morris' optimistic conclusion to his Utopian romance rings very hollow. The class divisions of his late Victorian society have now been projected onto the world stage, and Britain's mid-20th Century experiment with a mixed economy has been rolled back by successive governments since 1979.

Yet certain features of Morris' post-Revolution Britain have become reality. People live longer, reaching the century achieved by some of his characters; as a result of the NHS and better nutrition, the standard of health of the people has improved; the drab clothes of our Victorian ancestors have given way to more colourful outfits not too far away from those depicted in Morris' romance. And the environmental awareness of the last thirty years is cleaning up the worst of the pollution: salmon can once again be caught in the Thames.

Despite current concerns about terrorism, unemployment and public debt, we live in a society that makes progress, however uncertainly at times, as scientific discoveries help to improve the quality of life. The problem with Morris' anarchist Utopia is that it is a static paradise, with no new discoveries, no challenges, no innovations, and a general lack of interest in education, where people observe the beauties of nature rather than read books. To some extent, we are not too far away from H G Wells' world of the Eloi, though fortunately lacking the predatory Morlocks, but like that world it lives for the present, caught in a seemingly endless summer.

It has reverted not so much to medieval times - and some have remarked - but to a Britain on the eve of the Industrial Revolution, essentially rural, but without a squirearchy and landed gentry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 4 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of my favourite books since I came across it in the 1960s.. It is an interesting view of London in the Victorian period and Morris's ideas about a possible future.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite a novel, hardly a theory? 16 Sept. 2012
By Peasant TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Left-wing writers sometimes claim Morris as a socialist to sit alongside the likes of Keir Hardie, a pioneer of the British labour movement. Reading this, his personal Utopia, reveals how far his ideas were from those of his working class contemporaries. Morris's ideal world skates over many obvious problems, and assumes much in the way of perfectability in human nature. He isn't a particularly skilled writer of "fiction" (this is in no meaningful sense a novel) and, after starting with an appealling bang, the book gets bogged down and becomes rather heavy going as time passes. It isn't something most people would read for pure enjoyment, but it is important, if you wish to have an insight into Morris's place in late 19th century reform, to have read it.

Morris himself came from a privileged capitalist background - his father had made a fortune by wise (or lucky) investment - and his experience of the evils of industrialisation was that of an observer, not a victim. He had a highly romanticised sensibility and felt that, if his ideas could only be widely put into action, the world would become a paradise of fairness and beauty. His practical attempts, though today we cherish the results in the shape of the beautiful objects and designs created, had little impact on 19th century industrialism. His craftman-made objects were eye-wateringly expensive, accessible only to well-heeled idealists like himself. Meanwhile, the benefits of modern technology became available to ordinary people because of, not despite, the increased efficiency of factory production.

The astute reader will see that the way of doing things described in "News from Nowhere" could not, in practice, bring the benefits of science, research and modern medicine to an egalitarian citizenry in the way he hoped.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Socialist Time Travel 15 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting read but is rather dry by modern litery standards. The anarchist reasoning is well explained and the society is believeable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to the future. 21 July 2014
By Trond Berger - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To see the utopian vision of the future through the eyes of a 19th century socialist was pretty entertaining and interrsting. I love the language and I guess I enjoy it more since I read it on my Kindle app, with the dictionary only a touch away, but I actually found it to be a light read. I only read this book anyway because it was referenced in the preface of Huxley's "Brave new world", along with several other fascinating books that I now have read. Finaly, I can get on with "Brave new world", from quite an educated perspective.
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read 31 Oct. 2013
By Jamie W. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novel is an interesting take on a utopian society. It was a fast read and certainly would be a good choice for folks interested in historical visions of what a collective society could look like. It's also a fascinating look at how the author envisioned changes in Britain in the late nineteenth century.
5.0 out of 5 stars Draws you in 17 April 2015
By Chris - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a great book. Though it at times is a very slow really draws you into nature. It invokes emotions that I did not believe I felt about that subject. Anyone who is anyone should read this.
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