Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Interview That Never Was

I’ve adapted Joseph Dunlap’s excellent title, The Book That Never Was (which describes Morris and Burne-Jones’s unsuccessful plans for an illustrated edition of ‘The Story of Cupid and Psyche’), to evoke a Morris interview which I was not able to include in my collection We Met Morris: Interviews with William Morris 1885-96 (Spire Books, 2005). The story comes to us from Samuel Hobson, who informs us that Morris ‘liked to appear bluff and hearty. Sometimes he carried it rather far. A mild American admirer called to interview him. Morris rolled rather than walked down the stairs. “Well, sir, what the devil do you want?” The unhappy man shivered and fled’ (Pilgrims to the Left, 1938, p.72). One wonders just how many more of these aborted interviews there might have been; and if my book ever comes out in a second edition, I shall of course add this detail.

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