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Merrie England Once More? The Morris Revival c.1886-1951 [Video]

About this page

This page contains brief details about the video recording; the video (embedded in the page); an abstract for the talk; links to additional resources and a summary.

Video recording of talk

Recording of a Morris Federation talk on “Merrie England Once More’? The Morris Revival c.1886-1951” by Matt Simons held on Zoom on 3 April 2021.

The video lasts for 1 hour 17 minutes.



Born out of a widespread fervour for ‘Merrie England’, the morris dance revival was part of a campaign to locate and restore an English tradition of music and dance. This talk will provide a brief overview of the revival movement from the ‘Shakespearean Bidford Morris’ of the 1880s through to the Festival of Britain in 1951. Along the way, we will encounter antiquarians and composers, social workers and radical vicars, artisan weavers and rural revivalists. (For the purposes of this talk, morris is limited to the form now commonly known as ‘Cotswold’)

Additional resources

Links to related resources::

Speaker biography

Dr Matt Simons is a dancer and researcher based in south Lincolnshire.  He is a part-time lecturer in Modern British History at De Montfort University, and full-time dancer with numerous sides including Peterborough Morris and Bourne Borderers.

This talk is based on Matt’s doctoral thesis, completed in 2019, entitled ‘Morris Men: Dancing Englishness, c.1905-1951’.


  • Title: Merrie England Once More? The Morris Revival c.1886-1951
  • Speaker: Matt Simons
  • Facilitator: Pauline Woods-Wilson
  • Type: talk
  • Date of talk: 3 April 2021
  • Date page published: 22 April 2022
  • Notes: Incorrect date given in end credits

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