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Artwork from William Morris' A Dream of John Ball (1888)

A Dream of John Ball (1888) is a novel by English author William Morris about the English peasants' revolt of 1381 and the rebel John Ball. Like the novels close contemporary - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) by Mark Twain - it describes a dream and time travel encounter between the medieval and modern worlds. However unlike Twain's vision of a violent and chaotic "Dark Age", Morris describes a positive image of the Middle Ages, seeing it as a golden, if brief, period when peasants were prosperous and happy and guilds protected workers from exploitation.

Modern appraisal has been mixed, with some seeing Morris as an early hero of the labour movement, and others of him catering to "champagne socialism".[1] More importantly Morris presented an alternative view of the Middle Ages, being a positive and progressive period, an unusual position in the 19th century.[1]

The story was originally published in serial format in The Commonweal, November 13 1886 - January 22 1887.

See also


  1. ^ a b Marcus Bull. Thinking Medieval: An Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages. 2005 Palgrave. ISBN 978-1-4039-1294-7

External links


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