The Wood Beyond the World
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The Wood Beyond the World and The Well at the World’s End are the best-known of William Morris’s fantasy novels, which are fascinating attempts at re-creating medieval literary style, while at the same opening a new chapter of modern fantasy literature, by being the first fantasy novels set not in a fictionalized foreign country, or in a fictitious future, but in an entirely fictional world. But regardless of how The Wood Beyond the World is classified in the history of literature, it is most enjoyable to read for anyone who lets her- or himself be drawn in by its strange anachronistic charm.
About the Author
William Morris, who was born in 1834 and died in 1896, was a poet, a novelist, a translator, a textile designer and a socialist activist, and was closely involved with the Pre-Raphaelite art movement. He also was an entrepreneur, founding Morris & Co in 1861 to produce objects of decorative arts, being particularly successful with their stained glass windows, and the Kelmscott Press publishing and printing house in 1891. His “prose romances,” fantasy novels which he wrote in his later years, have been credited as being major milestones in the development of the fantasy genre. Like all his artistic work, they show his educated fascination with medieval history, literature and art, and are written in a style that is reminiscent of medieval prose.
William Morris’s activities, his influence and his achievements are too extensive to be adequately covered here, for more information please look at these sources: