An English author, craftsman, and textile artist, he is best known for influencing the development of the fantasy fiction genre. His notable works include The Earthly Paradise and News from Nowhere.
He studied theology and medieval poetry at Pembroke College. He published his first literary work, The Story of the Glittering Plain, in 1891.
He was a well-known textile designer and a founder of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
He was born in Walthamstow, London, England. He married Jane Burden and had two daughters.
His fantasy books directly influenced the work of J.R.R. Tolkien.