William Morris was a frenetic, energetic presence. There is a great deal of variety in descriptions of his physicality; some found him attractive, others slovenly and fat. Many of his friends called him ‘Topsy’ because his unruly hair reminded them of the character of the same name in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. He gained weight with age, but many felt he still appeared active and strong. Morris spent hours pouring over type and sketching detailed wallpaper patterns, but he did not devote the same fastidiousness to his personal appearance. The Archives and Rare Books Library has an extensive Morris collection of monographs and critical biographies, many of which include a wide variety of photographs, sketches, and woodcuts depicting Morris throughout his life.

Photographs of William Morris

Caricatures of William Morris

Illustrations of William Morris