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William de Morgan (William Frend de Morgan) Biography

(1839–1917), (William Frend de Morgan), Joseph Vance, Alice-for-Short: A Dichronism

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British writer and master potter, born in London, educated at University College, London, and the Royal Academy Schools. As a ceramicist, he came into close contact with William Morris (for whom he designed stained glass and decorative tiles) and other members of the Pre-Raphaelites. After illness and the failure of his firm de Morgan retired in 1905. In his late sixties he began producing expansive novels, the first and most successful being Joseph Vance (1906), a tragi-comic tale in autobiographical form told by a drunken builder whose Oxford-educated son becomes an inventor. He wrote eight more novels including Alice-for-Short: A Dichronism (1907), a ghost story, and A Likely Story (1911), a tale of magic; two posthumous novels, The Old Madhouse (1919) and Old Man's Youth (1921), were completed by his wife, Evelyn de Morgan, also an artist. The charm of his work lay in its originality and Dickensian style.

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