Hostname: page-component-5db6c4db9b-s6gjx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-25T03:56:34.566Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true


Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2004

Ruth Livesey
Royal Holloway, University of London


IN JUNE 1885 a group of radical intellectual Londoners gathered for the evening at that hub of nineteenth-century free thought, the South Place Institute. The event was organized by the Socialist League, a revolutionary socialist organization which counted William Morris, Eleanor Marx, and Edward Aveling as its most prominent members at that point in time. But this was no ordinary meeting. There were no lectures and no debates, just popular songs and dramatic recitations that had been carefully rehearsed by the membership in order to entertain for the cause. William Morris drafted a poem for the occasion, urging these “Socialists at Play” to cast their “care aside while song and verse/Touches our hearts.” Play, however, was not to lull the audience into a “luxurious mood”:

© 2004 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Manuscript Sources

Fabian Collection. British Library of Political and Economic Science Archives, London School of Economics.

Primary and Secondary Sources

Dollie Radford Diaries, MS R126. Clarke Memorial Library, University of California Los Angeles.
Bowler Peter. 1983. The Eclipse of Darwinism: Anti-Darwinian Evolution Theories in the Decades around 1900. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP
Britain Ian. 1982. Fabianism and Culture: A Study in British Socialism and the Arts. Cambridge: Cambridge UP
Carpenter Edward. 1904. The Art of Creation: Essays on the Self and its Powers. London: George Allen
Carpenter Edward. 1888. Chants of Labour: A Song-Book of the People. London: Swan Sonnenschein
Carpenter Edward. 1889. Civilisation: Its Cause and Cure and other essays. London: Swan Sonnenschein
Carpenter Edward. 1887. England's Ideal and other Papers on Social Subjects. London: Swan Sonnenschein
Carpenter Edward. 1908. The Intermediate Sex: A Study of Some Transitional Types. London: Swan Sonnenschein
Carpenter Edward. 1916. My Days and Dreams: Being Autobiographical Notes. London: George, Allen & Unwin
Carpenter Edward. 1883. Towards Democracy. Manchester: John Heywood
Chrisman Laura. 1990. “Allegory, Feminist Thought and the Dreams of Oliver Schreiner.” Edward Carpenter and Late Victorian Radicalism. Ed. Tony Brown. London: Frank Cass 12651.
Collini Stefan. 1991. Public Moralists: Political Thought and Intellectual Life in Britain, 1860–1940. Oxford: Clarendon
Danson Lawrence. 1997. Wilde's Intentions: The Artist in his Criticism. Oxford: Clarendon P
Eagleton Terry. 1995The Flight to the Real.” Cultural Politics at the Fin de Siècle. Ed. Sally Ledger and Scott McCracken. Cambridge: Cambridge UP: 1121.
Ellmann Richard. 1987. Oscar Wilde. London: Hamish Hamilton
Faulkner Peter, ed. 1973. William Morris: The Critical Heritage. London: RKP
Gagnier Regenia. 1986. Idylls of the Marketplace: Oscar Wilde and the Victorian Public. Stanford: Stanford UP
Gagnier Regenia. 2000. The Insatiability of Human Wants: Economics and Aesthetics in Market Society. Chicago: U of Chicago P
Guy Josephine. 1991. The British Avant-Garde: The Theory and Politics of Tradition. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf
Guy Josephine. 2003‘The Soul of Man Under Socialism’: A (Con)Textual History.” Wilde Writings: Contextual Conditions. Ed. Joseph Bristow. Toronto: Toronto UP: 6183.
Guy Josephine and Ian Small. 2000. Oscar Wilde's Profession: Writing and the Culture Industry in the Late Nineteenth Century. Oxford: Oxford UP
Janowitz Anne. 1998. Lyric and Labour in the Romantic Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge UP
Lawrence Dan H., ed. 1972. Bernard Shaw: Collected Letters. Vol. 2. London: Max Reinhardt
Mackenzie Norman and Jean. 1977. First Fabians. London: Weidenfield and Nicholson
Morris William. 1894How I became a Socialist.” Justice 16 June: 23.Google Scholar
Morris William. 1992. News from Nowhere. London: Routledge
Morris William. 1888. Signs of Change. London: Longmans
Morris William. 1885. Socialists at Play: Prologue Spoken at the Entertainment of the Socialist League. London: n.p.
Morris William. 1891. “The Socialist Ideal: Art.” The Soul of Man Under Socialism. New York: Humboldt 3138.
Penty Arthur J. 1914Aestheticism and History.” New Age 24: 68384.Google Scholar
Penty Arthur J. 1914Art and Revolution.” New Age 24: 61718.Google Scholar
Penty Arthur J. 1914Art as a Factor in Social Reform.New Age 24: 39496.Google Scholar
Pierson Stanley. 1973. Marxism and the Origins of British Socialism: The Struggle for a New Consciousness. Cornell UP
Rive Richard, ed. 1988. Olive Schreiner: Letters, 1871–1899. Oxford: Oxford UP
Robbins Ruth. 2000. “The Genders of Socialism: Eleanor Marx and Oscar Wilde.” Eleanor Marx (1855–1896). Life: Work: Contexts. Ed. John Stokes. Aldershot: Ashgate 98109.
Rowbotham Sheila and Jeffrey Weeks. 1977. Socialism and the New Life: The Personal and Sexual Politics of Edward Carpenter and Havelock Ellis. London: Pluto
Schreiner Olive. 1911. Woman and Labour. London: T. Fisher Unwin
Shaw George Bernard. 1945. Major Barbara. 1905. London: Penguin
Steedman Carolyn. 1990. Childhood, Culture and Class in Britain: Margaret McMillan, 1860–1931. London: Virago
Thompson E. P. 1955. William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary. London: Merlin
Waters Chris. 1990. British Socialists and the Politics of Popular Culture, 1884–1914. Manchester: Manchester UP
Whitman Walt. 1982. Poetry and Prose. Ed. Jusin Kaplan. New York: Library of America
Wilde Oscar [Anon.]. 1889Poetical Socialists.” Pall Mall Gazette 15 February: 3.Google Scholar
Wilde Oscar [Anon.]. 1988. The Soul of Man Under Socialism. London: Journeyman
Yeo Stephen. 1977A New Life: The Religion of Socialism in Britain, 1883–1896.History Workshop Journal 4: 555.Google Scholar