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MORRIS, CARPENTER, WILDE, AND THE POLITICAL AESTHETICS OF LABOR

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2004

Ruth Livesey
Affiliation:
Royal Holloway, University of London

Extract

IN JUNE 1885 a group of radical intellectual Londoners gathered for the evening at that hub of nineteenth-century free thought, the South Place Institute. The event was organized by the Socialist League, a revolutionary socialist organization which counted William Morris, Eleanor Marx, and Edward Aveling as its most prominent members at that point in time. But this was no ordinary meeting. There were no lectures and no debates, just popular songs and dramatic recitations that had been carefully rehearsed by the membership in order to entertain for the cause. William Morris drafted a poem for the occasion, urging these “Socialists at Play” to cast their “care aside while song and verse/Touches our hearts.” Play, however, was not to lull the audience into a “luxurious mood”:

Type
EDITORS' TOPIC: VICTORIAN BOUNDARIES
Copyright
© 2004 Cambridge University Press

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