A Victorian Rebel: The Life of William Morris

A Victorian Rebel: The Life of William Morris

A Victorian Rebel: The Life of William Morris

A Victorian Rebel: The Life of William Morris

Excerpt

The time at which this story begins was just about one hundred years ago. The place was England, and Queen Victoria, aged twenty-one, was enduring the third year of her long and virtuous reign. Everywhere, in city and countryside alike, the air was full of change, the kind of change that was to make England look familiar to the modern eye. Then, the change was just beginning. People still rode in stagecoaches, although paved roads and railroads were beginning to appear. The city of London was slowly taking on the aspect of a modern metropolis.

In our own time the Morden-Edgware Line of the London Underground Transport has built an escalator connection from the Bank of England station to join the District Line at the Monument. This makes easy transport connections for people who work in London's financial district and who come and go between their distant homes and their offices on the Central London, the District, and the Morden-Edgware underground lines. For in our own time London has expanded in all directions, and its inhabitants usually live far from "the old city." Now one can jump upon an ever-moving London bus (for in London every one jumps upon buses, even in the midst of the financial district) and be in Walthamstow, on the edges of the green and fertile land -- some five miles as the crow flies, but not as the London streets run -- within less than an hour.

A century ago, however, one had to take a stagecoach which left the city at a point near Cannon Street Station and travelled north on Moorgate, past Finsbury Square and Islington to Dalston, where it turned eastward, north of the Hackney . . .

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