News From Nowhere And Other Writings tells a whimsical tale of time travel from the 19th century to an unspecified future England in which people live without money, without government, and without violence, but with prosperity, with creativity, and with joy. An anarchist who helped to found the Socialist League in 1884, Morris is better known for his exquisite pattern designs used in wallpaper, furnishings and textiles, and for his craftsmanship in skills already forgotten by most in his time and forgotten again since, in our industrial and technological world.
In this story, the political upheavals and social ills of 19th-century England are laid bare by a future historian who answers the time-traveller’s questions as to how the evils of the past had been so thoroughly erased. Some readers may consider the descriptions of a revolution that never happened naïve, while others may wonder if the tale is a prophecy soon to unfold.
The concept of a society without crime, with neither money nor barter, yet with happy people working at what they enjoy, freely giving what they create, and learning a variety of skills more for fun than out of necessity is certainly an interesting new perspective. And the characters’ remarks make it clear Morris, himself, differed from many other Socialists and Communists in his firm belief that freedom and fairness must come from the bottom, not the top.
This book edited by Clive Wilmer includes other stories, lectures, and letters as well as the Utopian 1890 News from Nowhere. And a version edited by David Leopold is currently available.
Do you enjoy exploring points of view that differ from your own?