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ELT 36:1 1993 themselves. Morris was clearly an extremely "benevolent" yet traditional employer. As he recognized, the revolution would not have come any sooner if he acted differently. One wonders if the somewhat inexpensive "Sussex" rush-seated chairs were to be found in less affluent households. The authors do not speculate to any extent on what sort of influence the firm had on improving the look of the British world—was there a "trickle-down" effect?—although they do touch on Morris's role in the Arts & Crafts movement. He recognized that a fundamental political transformation was necessary in order to bring art to the people. This was a major impetus behind his growing political involvement . In the meantime there were genuine small-scale benefits from the making of an object and the enjoyment from it. The firm's expansion and moving to Merton Abbey paid off, and thereafter Morris had the time and money for intense political activity during the 1880s. As in every life, its rhythms change, and Morris's last eight years were dominated by the "typographical adventure" of the Kelmscott Press. William Peterson's masterly Kelmscott bibliography and history (the latter appeared too recently to be used) make the chapter on the Press a less original contribution, but here too it is made clear what a good businessman Morris was, except for possibly underpricing the Chaucer. It was also characteristic that he worked out a financial scheme that was eminently fair so that the Smith brothers who were the managers of the Oxford Street shop might acquire an interest in the design firm in such a way that was profitable to all concerned, and would provide Morris with enough capital to indulge his final passions: the purchasing of books and manuscripts and the Kelmscott Press. (Harvey and Press weren't able to find out much about the Smiths, although they suspect they may be related to George Wardle's wife, Madeleine Smith, the famous "Not Proven" alleged Edinburgh poisoner of 1857.) One would not have thought that new material and insights would be readily available about William Morris. Yet through a thorough and imaginative investigation of his business history, Harvey and Press have provided just that and have given us cause to admire William Morris even more. Peter Stansky --------------------- Stanford University The Huntington's Pre-Raphaelites Malcolm Warner, et al. The Pre-Raphaelites in Context. San Marino, CA: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, 1992. 184 pp. Paper $20.00 68 BOOK REVIEWS THE ABSENCE of a term for the artistic temper of the midnineteenth century has, by default, encouraged the use of "PreRaphaelitism " as a catchall for anything even loosely connected with the six painters who for a time signed their work with the initials "P.R.B." That signature marked a brief coming together of men whose work subsequently diverged. And if it is questionable to think of the later paintings of Rossetti, Hunt, and Millais as products of a school, it is downright misleading to treat Swinburne, Christina Rossetti, and, by Ruskin's account, Turner as comrades in an aesthetic movement. One is tempted to dismiss the term altogether. But that would be a mistake, for the very inadequacy of the designation "Pre-Raphaelite" tells us much about the chaotic state of the arts in the years following the apogee of High Romanticism. One expects a collection of materials relating to Pre-Raphaelitism to have little coherence, and The Pre-Raphaelites in Context does not disappoint. The book consists of a selection of letters by Sir Edward Burne-Jones from the Huntington Library's collection, edited by Jane A. Munro; two checklists—one, edited by Sara S. Hodson, of PreRaphaelite manuscripts in the library, the other, edited by Shelley M. Bennett, of Pre-Raphaelite works of art in the Huntington Library and Art Gallery; and four essays, originally presented at a Huntington Library symposium in 1991. The essays and correspondence are accompanied by eight color and forty black-and-white illustrations. (Oddly, four of the illustrations appear in both formats.) Burne-Jones's letters to Ford Madox Brown, Henry Holiday, and Harry Quilter illuminate his personality and practice as an artist...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 68-72
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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