News from Nowhere (1890) is the best-known prose work of William Morris. The novel describes the encounter between a visitor from the 19th century, William Guest, and a decentralized and humane socialist future. Set over a century after a revolutionary upheaval in 1952, these 'Chapters from a Utopian Romance' recount his journey across London and up the Thames to Kelmscott Manor, Morris's own country house in Oxfordshire.
Drawing on the work of John Ruskin and Karl Marx, Morris's audiobook is not only an evocative statement of his egalitarian convictions but also a distinctive contribution to the utopian tradition. Morris's rejection of state socialism and his ambition to transform the relationship between humankind and the natural world, give News from Nowhere a particular resonance for modern readers.
Author Morris was a socialist, a pattern-maker, an environmentalist, and a writer. Here Morris imagines an England reformed through civic rebellion against social injustice. A young man goes to sleep and wakes up in the far future, in an England that has become a communist, rural utopia. British narrator Barnaby Edwards employs a droll and tony voice when reciting this mannered and far-fetched text. The novella is written in first person, and the protagonist is young. The story registers like an essay, and the protagonist sounds far older than his years. This book is mainly an imaginative vehicle for Morris to decry societal wrongs and propose an idealistic alternative. Matching Morris’ intent Edwards performs as if he is lecturing.
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An essential read.