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This book is an attempt to remedy the neglect of the cultural and aesthetic aspects of English socialism in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. An outstanding symptom of this neglect is the way in which the Fabian Society, and its two leading lights, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, have usually been depicted as completely indifferent to art and to the artistic ramifications of socialism. Most commentators have painted Fabian socialism as a narrowly utilitarian programme of social and administrative reform, preoccupied with the mechanisms of politics and largely obvious of wider, more 'human' issues. One of the basic aims of the book is to question this bleakly philistine image, by showing the basis of the Fabians' beliefs in romancism as well as utilitarianism.