Memory and History and William Morris’s Medievalism
Ullal, K. (2010). Memory and History and William Morris’s Medievalism (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5006
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5006
Memory and history are at the core of the human condition. A deep concern for the human condition is at the heart of the work and ideas of the Victorian polymath William Morris. Morris abhorred the degraded state he believed to exist for so many in his own society and he worked long and hard for the greater part of his life to help create a more egalitarian world. This thesis explores the centrality of memory and history in three important works from the beginning, middle and end of Morris’s career. Its purpose is to show that in Morris’s persistent return to these themes he was seeking a new ontological awareness, one that might be generated from an exploration, through his literary art, of the social phenomena that shape memory and history, and thereby our lives. Such an awareness might lead to an identification of the changes that might make possible his egalitarian vision of all people living a life of enrichment rather than one shaped by the impoverishment he deemed existed for so many. I consider too the importance of his changing choice of literary genre in working towards that goal. Informing the thesis overall is Morris’s intense love of the Middle Ages, such that his medievalism is central to understanding how and why his works still resonate and engage with individuals and social structures in the twenty-first century.
University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses