Quercus is delighted to announce the acquisition of a new book by the writer and art historian Suzanne Fagence Cooper. How We Might Live: At Home with William and Jane Morris will be the first book to examine fully the unknown story of Jane Morris’ artistic and intellectual life alongside that of her more famous husband. Using newly published letters and materials, How We Might Live will be a recreation of a partnership of extraordinary creativity and depth, and a plea for the reader to incorporate the Morris family’s faith in creativity and integrity into modern life.
Suzanne Fagence Cooper is a writer, curator and lecturer: her most recent book To See Clearly: Why Ruskin Matters was published by Quercus in February 2019. She is also the author of Effie Gray (Duckworth). She was the Research Curator for 'Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud' at the York Art Gallery, Spring 2019.
Commissioning Editor Ben Brock bought UK & Commonwealth excluding Canada rights in an exclusive submission from Jonathan Conway at Jonathan Conway Literary Agency: Quercus will publish the book in September 2021.
Ben Brock says: “Suzanne and I are both Morris evangelists, and I’m incredibly excited to be helping her bring a new, neglected side of the Morris story to readers with HOW WE MIGHT LIVE. From the glimpses I have seen of Jane Morris’ work, I know this will be a revealing and moving exploration not only of a marriage but of an entire vision of life.”
Suzanne Fagence Cooper says: "Jane and William Morris were the most vibrant and radical couple in the Victorian art world. From their first projects together in the 1850s, they challenged stereotypes about beauty, poetry, social status and design. I am delighted to reveal their life-long partnership and avant-garde ideas about creating homes and gardens to new audiences. Now we can read their letters and look at their art works - the textiles, furnishings and beautiful books - with fresh eyes. And hopefully their creativity will continue to inspire and provoke us.”