William Morris

Development of Modern Society


The Development of Modern Society is a greatly expanded version of the first sections of Socialism from the Root Up. It was first delivered as a lecture for the Liverpool Socialist Society on 13 April 1890, and then serialised in five sections in Commonweal during the summer of 1890. Morris seems to have abandoned it as a lecture, and it was not published again until Nicholas Salmon's edition of ‘William Morris on History’ in 1996. It is nevertheless one of the best and most readable examples of Morris's fusion of the ideas of Ruskin, Morgan and Marx with his own detailed knowledge of mediaeval history.

This version is taken from the original Commonweal, scanned and proofread by Ted Crawford with markup by Graham Seaman.

Introduction by Graham Seaman, 25 August 2010