Today in Labour History
Back from the Future
William Morris' utopian novel News from Nowhere or An Epoch of Rest starts with six friends at the Socialist League having a 'brisk discussion about what would happen on the day of the Revolution'. One of the friends went home, awaked in the future, and described a communist society. After his return from the future, he states: 'and if others can see it as I have seen it, then it may be called a vision rather than a dream.'
On 22 November 1892 this book was completed by the Kelmscott Press, Morris' own publishing house which he had started in 1891. 300 copies, decorated with a woodcut of Morris' summer house Kelmscott Manor, were printed. But to Morris' grief, this was not the first edition of his own book. After the text had been published in chapters in Commonweal, the organ of the Socialist League, it was almost immediately published in America in 1890, without his special permission. Here is the title page of this first American edition.