William Morris Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages with integral blank, 5" x 8", on his personal letterhead, "Kelmscott House, Upper Mall, Hammersmith [West London, England]," August 30 [circa 1883]. In 1876, artist and novelist William Morris' eldest daughter, Jane Alice Morris, commonly referred to as Jenny, was diagnosed with epilepsy. Rather than have her committed to a mental hospital, he chose to have her cared for by family. Here she writes to a "Miss Bailey," presumably one of Jenny's nurses, regarding her latest episode, in part: "I hear from Mrs. Morris that dear Jenny has had an attack since you left town: I ought to have asked you to write & let me know also if anything of that sort happens: Will you kindly do so please & tell me something about this last one: . . . I get anxious & I want also to communicate with Mr. Webb." The Mr. Webb referred to here could be Dr. Henry Webb, the brother of Morris' close friend and business partner, the architect Philip Webb. "I hope you are still having fine weather, as we are," he continues, "I will send off Miss Wright's [possibly an assistant to Miss Bailey] cheque tomorrow: do you want anything more at present: if so please write." Folds, else fine.

    In addition to his contributions to the world of art and literature, William Morris (1834-1896) was also a noted political activist. A staunch revolutionary socialist and anti-Imperialist, he founded the Socialist League in 1884 and is seen today as one of the most important cultural figures in Victorian England.

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    October, 2014
    8th-9th Wednesday-Thursday
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