Open Access Thesis
Interpreting the past often reveals as much about the interpreter as it does about the subject they interpret. This was the case with William Morris and his utopian mythologization of the Middle Ages. His art, writings, politics, and philosophy are suffused with a utopian vision of the medieval past. It runs through the whole body of his work and even in affected his personal life. It became a lens through which he could understand the world around him, a source on which he could draw for his political, social, and artistic critiques of Victorian Society. Through three different vantage points, Gender, Art, and Work, this thesis looks at the role of the Medieval in his thought. It considers its effect on his understanding of gender and his marriage. It considers also how it shaped his perception of Work, leading him to idealize the medieval guild system and the craftsman. Finally, it looks at how medieval Art shaped what he perceived as quality Art and how in turn that played an important role in his political thought and activism.
Year of Submission
Master of Arts
Department of History
Thomas G. Connors, Chair, Thesis Committee
1 PDF file (v, 114 pages)
©2022 Benjamin Michael Kimball
Kimball, Benjamin Michael, "The medieval ideal: Utopian medievalism in the life, thought, and works of William Morris" (2022). Dissertations and Theses @ UNI. 1225.