Utopia, Ltd.: Ideologies of Social Dreaming in England 1870-1900 (Historical Materialism Books (Haymarket Books))

By Matthew Beaumont

This booklet uncovers the historic preconditions for the explosive revival of utopian literature on the nineteenth-century fin de siècle, and excavates its ideological content material. It marks a contribution not just to the literary and cultural historical past of the late-Victorian interval, and to the increasing box of utopian reviews, yet to the improvement of a Marxist critique of utopianism. The publication is very eager about 3 varieties of political utopia or anti-utopia, these of 'state socialism', feminism, and anti-communism (the attribute expression of this final instance being the cacotopia). After an intensive contextual account of the politics of utopia in late-nineteenth century England, it devotes a bankruptcy to every of those themes earlier than constructing an unique reinterpretation of William Morris's seminal Marxist utopia, information from Nowhere.
About the Author
Matthew Beaumont, D. Phil. (2000) in English Literature on the college of Oxford, is Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature at college collage London'
Utopia Ltd. is extraordinary for its exact ancient take hold of of the late-nineteenth century. Beaumont operates at a excessive conceptual point, demonstrating a sophisitcated figuring out of Marxist cultural concept, that is such a lot successfully positioned to take advantage of as an explanatory framework. there's a lot impressvely unique paintings right here, either when it comes to principles and within the bringing to mild of hitherto little-discussed texts. there's additionally an outstanding stability among unique learn at the one hand, and, at the different, a clean method of extra canonical works similar to Morris's information from Nowhere. The publication is stuffed with illuminating insights, lucidly and coherently argued.' 
Terry Eagleton, Professor of Cultural concept and John Rylands Fellow, collage of Manchester.
'This is a really convincing, frequently unique, and lucidly written interpreting of late-nineteenth century utopian literature that makes an excellent contribution to the ever-growing box of fin-de-siècle studies.' 
Sally Ledger, Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature, Birkbeck university, collage of London.
'Utopia Ltd. offers us with a brand new constellation of the sphere below inquiry, or — as one in all Beaumont's masters of inspiration, Benjamin, may say — with a dialectical photograph which at the one hand makes a few universal positive aspects of late-nineteenth century utopian literature stand out, and at the different doesn't forget the only stars. i like to recommend it warmly.' 
Darko Suvin, Emeritus Professor of English and Comparitive Literature, McGill University.
'What i locate quite priceless approximately this publication is the way it presents a brand new framework for realizing famous texts corresponding to Bellamy's having a look Backward, and particularly Morris's information from Nowhere, by means of situating them relating to the big output of utopian and "cacatopian" literature produced within the overdue 19th century. This phenomenon is an ideological episode invaluable of realization in its personal correct, as a symptom of the widely-perceived main issue of bourgeois tradition round the fin de siècle, and Beaumont does a resounding task of explaining it, thereby making it fascinating to the reader. yet i believe that many at the left may be interested in this research incidentally it is helping us in the direction of a fuller knowing of Morris's information from Nowhere and matters round Marxist utopianism.' 
Andrew Hemingway, Professor of paintings historical past, college university, London

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147, 477. Bloch 1986, p. 941. Samuel 1985, p. 26. country Socialism and Utopia • sixty five of political notion. Reform, for them, finally signified the minimal volume of social engineering essential to make every person a member of the center type. ‘Their maximum ideal’, one historian confirms, ‘was to generalize their very own modest way of life and to make sure that all to accomplish their very own certain feel of social usefulness’. eighty the following, once again, is Morris’s unmixed glossy temperament. It was once no longer that, regardless of appearances, Fabianism had no utopia; it was once that, just like the utopia later embraced with out embarrassment through the Webbs, the Stalinist fantasy of the Soviet Union, ‘it was once regrettably missing in such a lot attributes of desire’. eighty one The temperament or mentality of the petty-bourgeois socialist may also usefully be identified within the writing of Hyndman, the previous Tory who, as chief of the Democratic (later, Social-Democratic) Federation, popularised Marx’s writings on political financial system for the English labour flow. At first sight, as I indicated while discussing the philanthropic profile of his it appears innovative point, Hyndman turns out an not likely bedfellow of the Fabians. From 1884, the yr within which the SDF used to be shaped, he spiced his speeches with references to violent revolution, in rhetorical flourishes fullyyt international to the well mannered tone of Fabian politics. This rhetoric was once screwed to its sticking-point in Hyndman’s speech to the unemployed agitation of eight February 1886. On that party, parts of the click held him chargeable for the truth that, a little while later, on being jeered at from gentlemen’s golf equipment in Pall Mall, a few demonstrators retaliated with a place of indiscriminate looting. yet, for all that he ‘was filled with one of those fervour of progressive anticipation’, as Edward chippie was once to place it, Hyndman was once a political opportunist whose seize of heritage used to be finally passive and progressivist: ‘We used to chaff him simply because at each obstacle within the commercial scenario he was once confident that the Millennium was once handy – that the S. D. F. could get to the bottom of itself right into a Committee of Public defense, and that it might be for him as Chairman of that physique to lead the send of the nation into the calm haven of Socialism! ’. eighty two The Hyndmanites, Wolfe writes, ‘were relatively reformists in innovative garb’. eighty three it truly is no twist of fate that Carpenter’s parodic description eighty eighty one eighty two eighty three Harrison 1987, p. forty three. Weeks 1984, p. seventy six. wood worker 1916, p. 246. Wolfe 1975, p. 102. sixty six • bankruptcy is usually acceptable to the Fabians’ belief of social transformation. Hyndman too observed the longer term by way of the well timed management of socialism from above. Morris hinted in 1885 that at the back of the latter’s histrionic calls to motion, ‘all those theatrical boasts and warnings approximately speedy violent revolution’, he used to be thoroughly supine – ‘waiting approximately to determine what will be made up of the political scenario, if possibly on the top one could reach to a type of Bismarkian nation Socialism, or as close to it as we will get in England’.

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