In the mid- and late 1880s, William Morris was at his busiest laboring for the Socialist cause. He was engaged in the grueling round of public lectures and committee work that eventually was to sap his strength and endanger his health. In 1885 he founded the Hammersmith Branch of the Socialist League and launched the first issues of Commonweal, the socialist newspaper which he largely funded out of his own pocket, serving as an editor and frequent contributor. In November of 1886 he published in Commonweal the first portion of A Dream of John Ball, initiating a serialization that would stretch into 1887. In March of 1887 his publisher, Reeves & Turner, issued the modest-sized story in book form, and five years …
Boenig, Robert. "A Dream of John Ball". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 January 2007; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1027, accessed 25 April 2015.]