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William Morris, Royal Palaces & the £350m

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2016 by kmflett

morris

Something of a furore has been created by news that the Queen is to receive £350 million to refurbish Buckingham Palace. John McDonnell is reported in The Guardian has saying that national monuments should be maintained. I agree, but the Queen is hardly short of a few quid and when many struggle to find anywhere to live at all, perhaps she should chip in.

William Morris founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and he was also a revolutionary socialist. In his utopian socialist novel, News From Nowhere, Parliament has famously been replaced by a dung heap. He does not touch on the fate of Buckingham Palace but gives a fairly reasonable idea of his view of what should happen to Royal Palaces when he touches on Windsor Castle:

That is Windsor Castle.. it looks fine from here doesnt it? But a great deal of it has been built or skinned in the time of Degradation, and we wouldn’t pull the buildings down, since they were there; just as with the buildings of the Dung-Market. You know of course that it was the palace of our medieval kings.. A great many people live there..with all drawbacks, it is a pleasant place; there is also a well arranged store of antiquities of various kinds that have seemed worth keeping- a museum.

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One Response to “William Morris, Royal Palaces & the £350m”

  1. The Houses of Parliament were not replaced by a dung heap in News From Nowhere. The buildings had become a dung warehouse. This always struck me as a good idea, since the Palace of Westminster is nicely positioned on the Thames to allow dung to be transferred to boats which could take it to fertilise fields both up and down river. Morris was nothing if not a practical thinker.

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