William Morris was born in 1834. He was a brilliant designer and political thinker, as well as one of the most popular poets of his day. He was educated at Exeter College, Oxford and was strongly influenced by the Pre-Raphelites, especially Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In 1861 he became a founding partner of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., a prestigious design firm, and he also founded both the Socialist League and the Hammersmith Socialist society, Becoming known as an influential and persuasive speaker. His best-known collection of poetry is The Earthly Paradise (1868-1870). He died in 1896.