The Pre-Raphaelites: Romantic Victorians

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By Catherine Redford

Kelmscott Manor, William Morris’s Cotswold retreat
Over the past couple of years, my research and teaching interests have been extending further into Victorian territory. It will come as no surprise that I’m particularly interested in the dark Gothic and dystopian texts of the fin de siècle period; indeed, the ‘Last Man‘ theme crops up time and again in literature of the 1880s and 1890s. Beyond the Last Man, though, I’m also really interested in the depiction of subterranean spaces in fin de siècle texts, and have just finished a chapter on this topic which will appear in a forthcoming edited collection on William Morris and H. G. Wells.
News from Nowhere: frontispiece
Having spent the summer immersed in the work of Morris and Wells, I felt that I was justified in taking a ‘research’ trip (albeit with a fair bit of cake, ice cream, and tea!) to Kelmscott Manor, the former Cotswold retreat of Morris and his friends and family. The house and grounds were just as wonderful as I was expecting them to be, and it’s easy to see how the Manor was a source of inspiration for Morris’s art. Morris – …read more