Wednesday, February 07, 2007


The True Biography of William Morris

My mother has always had a strange and vaguely frightening affintity for the wallpaper in our living room. She says it was done in the style of William Morris, a fact that meant nothing to me until very recently. For my Victorian Art and Society class I found myself with the assignment of studying Morris so that I could give a short (two minute) oral presentation on him tomorrow. I found his life far more exciting, and telling of the Victorian era, than I could have ever imagined. I invite all of you readers to do your own research on this historical figure, but for a start I have transcribed the wikipedia entry on Morris below. Share and enjoy.

William Morris was born to a wealthy bourgeois family in the spring of 1834. Though sadly, later that same year his birth parents were killed by cyborgs. The cyborgs adopted his late parents’ identities, as is the traditional cyborgian custom, and raised Morris as their own never revealing the dark truth to him.

Later, Morris attended Marlborough College, but this move was short-lived. In 1851 a violent student rebellion broke out over whether the school should admit students of different cultural and philosophical backgrounds. Morris, raised a staunch conservative by his adoptive cyborg parents, took up arms to support cultural homogeneity. In a scuffle with the culturally diverse students, the young Morris was bit by a werewolf. Transformed into what he most detested, and expelled from to school he sought to keep lycanthrope free by his former compatriots, Morris contemplated taking his own life. Instead, he took more drastic action. He grew a beard. He would later regret this decision, and made many efforts to destroy the beard, but he had been cursed by the werewolf that bit him (the werewolf was also a gypsy), and the beard could not be killed. Legend says that the beard even survived Morris’s death and still grows to this day. This is untrue, while the beard did survive Morris’s death by poisoning; it was eventually killed by legendary beard slayer Ann Frank, who was in turn killed by the Nazi’s. But the Nazi connection to William Morris has yet to be proven.

After Marlborough, Morris attended Oxford University. There, shunned by polite society because of his lycanthropy and beard, Morris could only find companionship among the other societal outcasts, the socialists. Morris claimed to embrace socialism in an effort to gain the acceptance of the socialists, though this conversion is suspected by many to have been a superficial ploy intended to curb the dark tide of loneliness. Morris’s parents were outraged by his philosophical shift and cut their only son William out of their will, making the household cat, Zippers, their sole beneficiary. This was, of course, an empty gesture, as cyborgs never die, and Zippers died penniless.

William Morris had long aspired to become an artist and a poet, but tragically this was impossible. A childhood case of Scarlet Polio had left Morris with no artistic or literary ability whatsoever. Zipper, a competent artist (as far as cats go), took pity on the bearded socialist. The cat would create gothic themed paintings, poetry, and stained class works and then present them to the world as the works of Morris. Morris, it seems, had no idea this was going on, thinking rather that he had created the art and then forgot about it. This would seem a ridiculous conclusion, were it not true of his wallpaper making abilities. On full moon nights, when Morris would transform into a werewolf, he would go into an artistic trance. In the mornings, when he would wake up naked, alone, and full of man flesh, the walls around him would be covered in intricate designs inked with the blood of orphans. The iconography of the bloody designs represented a reverence for nature as the socialist ideal that had every plan being self sufficient, yet working together with all other plants. That message was of course instantly compromised when bourgeois households started papering their walls with were-Morris’s designs because they looked pretty and went so well with the sofa.

Morris’s homicidal wallpapers and the stolen artistic works of Zipper soon gained him (Morris) respect in the Victorian artistic world. He joined the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a British artistic group that worked under the guise of honouring medieval ideals and stories in art, but was really a cell of assassins out to kill the Free Masons. It was in the company of his artistic assassin brethren that Morris met Jane ‘7-11’ Burden (The story that the nickname ‘7-11’ was given to the young Miss Burden because her legs were open all day every day is apocryphal; though Burden was famously promiscuous, the nickname derives from the fact that she was 7’ 11” tall). Members of the brotherhood repeatedly asserted that the young giantess was the most beautiful woman they had ever seen, this was cruel sarcasm. The fact that Morris eventually married Burden was not because he was in love with her, but rather because he had been playing the old assassin slumber party game, ‘Truth, Dare, or Death’.

Like many Victorian artists, Morris bought into the contemporary fad of developing a mercury addiction. That, the growing self awareness of his sentient beard, and the unhealthy diet of eating orphans while in wolf form, took their toll on Morris’s mind. He slowly went mad, moved into the country, and became a recluse. He slipped into a melancholy, and refused to say anything other than ‘individuals must be self sufficient’ and ‘has anyone ever noticed my parents don’t age and are made of metal?’. He insisted on farming for himself, but only his soil trees ever bore fruit. He also insisted on widdling his own Tupperware containers. He denounced the modern world, because it turned men into automatons, and longed to return to his imagined medieval paradise that turned men into automatons with horses.

Then, in the autumn of 1896, William Morris passed away. He fell ill and died painfully in his sleep after drinking reservoir water that had been poisoned by a man dressed as a clown. His dying words, immortalized upon the mausoleum he had widdled for himself on Sunday afternoon, were: ‘I regret only my mistakes’.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?