News from Nowhere
William Morris and Rowan Williams
With its radical blend of utopian socialism and science fiction, William Morris’s novel News from Nowhere caused a stir when it was first published in instalments in the Commonweal in 1890. The narrator William Guest awakens to find himself in a utopian England in the 21st century. Industrial buildings have been transformed into a pastoral paradise; civilians are dressed in 14th-century costume; there is an abundance of openair markets and wooded areas and gardens; and money, prisons and divorce have been abolished. In this vision of a socialist future, individuals have the freedom to choose their own economic and creative pursuits. Two years after its initial publication, the novel became one of the first books printed by Morris’s newly founded Kelmscott Press. A copy of this rare edition – only 300 were produced – is held in the National Art Library at the V&A; this publication is a reproduction of that volume. Morris oversaw all aspects of the original production, from the selection of the paper and ink to the choice of his own Golden typeface and the position of the printed matter on the page. The result was a timeless triumph in book design and making. This new edition makes Morris’s design available to a wide audience for the first time.