top of page

Victorian Liberalism and Material Culture is a masterful rapprochement between methodologies that hardly ever converge. Morrison gives us liberal political philosophy from the inside out, using archival research to peer into the domestic interiors and built environments that framed the influential thought of J.S. Mill, Matthew Arnold, John Morley, and Robert Browning. A crucial study for political theorists and material culture scholars alike.

- Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Rutgers University


Morrison's contribution to the material turn in Victorian studies is highly original and his book opens up intriguing lines of inquiry that, as far as I am aware, have never been considered before.

- Deborah Wynne, Nineteenth-Century Prose

Morrison’s self-reflectiveness was one of the book’s most captivating aspects. He often pauses, for example, to describe what it means to be an academic writing an academic book. . . . Such comments inspire confidence in the suppleness and probing nature of Morrison’s thought, and highlight a voice that is as compelling as those of the figures he records. At the end of the book, one feels not only as if one has learned about Victorian liberalism, the figures discussed, architecture, material culture, and the challenges of academic life, but also as if one has participated in a congenial dinner party.​

- Barbara Leckie, Victorian Studies

Victorian Liberalism and Material Culture is a fascinating book full of rich detail and assiduous research.

- Jock Macleod, RES: The Review of English Studies

The four studies reveal Morrison as a sensitive and perceptive chronicler of the materialities of Victorian intellectual life. They contribute to a significant body of recent work on Victorian domesticity and will be read with profit by anyone interested in Victorian architectural and decorative practice.

- Martin Hewitt, English Historical Review

Morrison's aims are lofty. . . . [the book] investigates the interaction between . . . four writers and the spaces in which they worked, but also tells the story of Morrison’s research efforts in order to provide a commentary on the process of scholarship that is interested in historical interiors.

-The Year's Work in English Studies

Victorian Liberalism and Material Culture opens an exciting avenue of study into how architectural detail and design can influence intellectual development of thought.

- Zan Cammack, Wilkie Collins Journal

This year saw the publication of several compelling studies concerned with politics in the traditional sense, all of which link literary forms, genres, and metaphors to Victorian political exigencies . . . . Victorian Liberalism and Material Culture . . . considers liberalism in relation to a single metaphor—that of the individual mind as a furnished room. But Morrison sets that metaphor in a material context, that of the physical spaces in which four liberal thinkers actually worked.

-Andrea Henderson, SEL Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900


bottom of page