William Morris (24 Mar 1834 – 3 Oct 1896) was an English novelist, poet, translator and socialist activist. Morris began publishing poetry and short stories in the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine. He founded these magazines with his friends during the period when he was at the university. His literary contributions helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, while he played a significant role in propagating the early socialist movement in Britain. Morris is recognized as one of the most significant cultural figures of Victorian Britain.
Hopes and Fears for Art is a collection of talks given by William Morris towards the end of the 1870s, shortly before joining the Socialist Democratic Federation. Morris’s speculations on social change and on the utopic possibilities of a society of satisfied artisans are written at the liminal time of the industrialization. Because of the clarity with which Morris could see the developing roots of today's consumption society, this work holds significance value for understanding of modern realities.