A lavish record of an extraordinary collaboration between designer and architect—and the catalyst for the William Morris style.
Red House occupies a singular place in British architectural history: it was the first and only house that was built for designer William Morris, and it was the first independent architectural commission for his friend, Philip Webb. The challenge of furnishing the house inspired Morris and his Pre-Raphaelite friends to found the design firm of Morris & Co., which was the flagship for what was to become the Arts & Crafts movement. Red House captured Morris’ heart. He was only 25 when, in 1858, he married Jane Burden, whose beauty was the inspiration for much of Pre-Raphaelite art. With his young wife, he planned to produce a vision of "earthly paradise" at Red House; however, the idyll was found to be impractical, and Morris left after five years. Because of its illustrious first owner, Red House was never forgotten, and a succession of tenants kept Morris’ spirit alive in the house; in 2003, Red House was acquired for the National Trust. This handsome volume provides both the story of Red House and a "virtual tour" that enables the reader to see how this splendid house looked and functioned when it was inhabited by the celebrated designer.