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International Women’s Day

8th March 2017

As a business started, and run by a woman, on International Women’s Day, it’s always important to look at the strong women- both today and of days gone by, that have shaped the world as we know it. Whilst today theres no limit to the inspirational women we can reference and quote, it’s interesting to look back through history and how they were empowered in a society which wasn’t as accepting of them as ours is today. Looking at a few Pre-Raphaelite women in particular, we look to discuss how they managed to be successful in their own right!

Christina Rossetti

Many will recognise Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s sister for her modelling in several of his most famous paintings, however outside of her brothers accomplishments, and not to be overshadowed by them, Christina is a hugely famous writer. Writing from 1842, she mostly imitated her famous poets and it wasn’t until 1847 she began her own style of work with experimentation of verse forms. At the age of 18, she published two poems, ‘Death’s Chill Between’ and ‘Heart’s Chill Between’ both of which appeared in Athenaeum in 1848. Under her pen-name ‘Ellen Alleyne’ she also began her public career in The Germ- a literary magazine which was published by the Pre-Raphaelites (edited by her other brother, William.)

Goblin Market and Other Poems is her famous collection and is the work she is best remembered for, which was published in 1862. The reviews placed her as the foremost female poet of the time. In the time from then, many critics have debated the title poem’s meaning, many see it as a commentary on Victorian gender roles and female agency- give it a read and see what you deem from the poem! Indeed it could be from personal experiences she encountered; from 1859- 1870, Rossetti was a volunteer worker at the St. Mary Magdalene ‘House of Charity’ based in Highgate. This charity worked as a refuge for former prostitutes which she felt passionate about- opposed to many issues in society before the time they were addressed, she very much opposed the exploration of girls in under-age prostitution. There was also feminist themes running through her poetry. Whilst many may think of Pre-Raphaelite women as simply those that posed for their brothers/friends and husbands paintings, Rossetti very much bucks the perceived image and shows that not only can a woman be an image of beauty, but work to become hugely successful- and remembered- in her own right, but also have time to work for the rights of others.

“Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun.”- Christina Rossetti

May Morris 

We’ve spoken recently about May Morris- but how could we leave her out of a post dedicated to women who were forward thinking and before their time! Aged just 23, May took over and ran the entire embroidery section of Morris & Co. after completing her studies at Kensington School of Design. It was from this point on that all designs were done by both her and John Henry Dearle- what a huge accomplishment at any time, but especially during this era when the vast majority of women did not work or weren’t taken seriously in the work place.

May also founded the Women’s Guild of Arts in 1907; remaining the president until 1935. May saw that there was an ‘Art Workers’ Guild’ for men, established in 1884, May pushed the boundaries and formed the women’s equivalent. Only from 1960 have women been allowed into the original Guild, however this fact alone shows that May was years ahead of the changing attitudes to gender equality- seeing she couldn’t be admitted into a society which were inspired by her fathers ideas and the Arts and Crafts Movement, she showed her determination by doing it herself!

When you think of Pre-Raphaelite women, you may immediately think of their pale skin and flowing tresses, both of which are focused on in literature. However- we’d challenge you to look further at these women and look into their successes- we know we’re sometimes guilty of it on this blog at giving a heavy focus on the men and their achievements, and we’re working on changing this; the women showed just as much talent, and in the Victorian era when the women were much more suppressed than today’s society, it’s hard to not be in awe of all they achieved!

 

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Our Black Friday sale is now live! 🥂 On our website only, use code, BLACKFRIDAY10 all weekend for 10% off your order ☺️ Ends Sunday at midnight 🌙
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Dreaming of the sunshine 💭 This is our smallest size of tote bag, in our licensed William Morris Strawberry Thief, on this bike ride we were pretty happy that it was filled to the brim with snacks to eat on the beach ☀️ On Wintery nights we love to look back on the sunshine! ☁️
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We're so thrilled our new website is now live! 🌿Just in time for Christmas shopping, it's much easier to use, and still full of beautiful licensed William Morris designs on every page! We hope you like the change, especially where lots of you are featured on the new 'inspiration' page! 🌟 We absolutely love that it showcases everyones tablescapes and craft projects, just click on them to see the design and who posted the photo so you can see more of their content ☺️ If you're happy for us to use your photos, just send us a message, we'd love it to be a page we can keep adding to throughout the seasons 🪴
Special thank you to @adigi_agency for creating our website, we love it! 🤍
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A few of our licensed William Morris designs all hanging out, aren’t they iconic! It’s amazing that you can see a Morris print and instantly know it’s his design 🌿
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Hands up if you’re a Golden Lily fan 🙋‍♀️ Our licensed William Morris design tea towels make excellent Christmas gifts if you’re writing your Christmas list!🎄 
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Always brightening up the kitchen; Willow Bough 🌿 What a special design ✨
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“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life” - William Morris. Some days, for us, that means decorating our tables with napkin bows and settling down for a slice of cake! 🧁
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Fabric stack of floral dreams 💭
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We'd say Morris more than succeeded, with timeless designs and words, it shows true beauty and art will never age 🌿 Morris wrote this quote in "The Well At The World's End: Volume I." Have you ever read much of his poetry or writing? ✍️
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A little fabric stack full of William Morris floral magic 🌿
Is anyone else a little excited that it's only 100 days until Christmas... or is it too soon to talk about? We're quite excited for Christmas crafts, food and films! ☺️ We wonder what your favourite Morris design is? Does it change based on season? 🎄 (it's far too early for this emoji but we're excited and can't help it, sorry.)
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Important conversation of the day at Laura's Beau HQ: who fancies a crumble and which is your favourite flavour? 🍎 Apple seems popular, so does rhubarb ☀️ One thing we can agree on is that we're all going to be baking them tonight - best get our fave oven gloves out! 👩‍🍳 These are our licensed William Morris Eyebright double oven gloves, isn't it such a beautiful pattern 🤍
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We were cutting our Strawberry Thief fabric today and the sunlight hit it perfectly, we couldn’t resist a picture 🌿 All our licensed William Morris designs are printed in the United Kingdom, and we sell it by the half metre 🪡 If you’re in the UK and would like a sample, just send us a message! 💌 
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A close up of our beautiful licensed William Morris Trellis 😍 Isn't it such a timeless design, it was first designed in 1864, inspired by the rose trellis in Morris's garden at beautiful Red House 🌿 It was the first wallpaper Morris designed, along with Daisy and Fruit. 
Because the three designs were produced using a hand printing process, each colour needed a separate block and for the three designs it was 12 blocks each so was a long and expensive process. Therefore, they were all put on hold until the early 1870s when Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & co. had enough money to finance the designs 🎨We love the Trellis design, currently our tea towel is hanging over the cooker - we always wonder if Morris could ever have foreseen that his design in 1864 would be so well loved all these years later? 🤍
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What’s your favourite thing to make out of our licensed William Morris fabric? 🌿it’s always incredible to see what you create 🧵🪡
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Did you know we have matching  kitchen accessories in a range of licensed Morris designs? 🌿 Perfect for pressies or treating yourself to bring a little Morris floral magic into your kitchen 🤍✨
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