At Kelmscott House: I
From Ernest Rhys, Everyman Remembers (London: J. M. Dent, 1931) p. 49. The coach house at William Morris’s Hammersmith home, Kelmscott House, was converted into a hall for lectures, concerts and plays. The famous Hammersmith Sunday evening lectures were begun by Hyndman in 1884 and continued until Morris’s death in the autumn of 1896. Morris first became aware of Shaw when he read the serialised instalments of Shaw’s fifth novel An Unsocial Socialist in the pages of To-Day. By January 1885 Shaw was closely acquainted with the Morris family and circle and was acting in a play with Morris’s daughter, May, with whom he was for a time in love. Rhys’s recollection can be roughly dated from the fact that he records seeing shortly afterwards Morris’s play The Tables Turned, performed at Kelmscott House on 15 October 1887, with Morris himself playing the part of the Archbishop of Canterbury. On the night described below, Morris ‘in a very impatient revolutionary mood’ was speaking out for action.