William Morris (1834–1896) was an English artist, writer, socialist and activist. He was one of the principal founders of the British arts and crafts movement, best known as a designer of wallpaper and patterned fabrics, a writer of poetry and fiction and a pioneer of the socialist movement in Britain.
In the last nine years of his life, Morris wrote a series of fantasy novels – including The Wood Beyond the World (1894) and The Well at the World's End (1896) – that have been credited as important milestones in the history of fantasy fiction, because, while other writers wrote of foreign lands, or of dream worlds, or the future (as Morris did in News from Nowhere), Morris's works were the first to be set in an entirely invented fantasy world.
Large subgenres of the field of fantasy have sprung from the romance genre, but indirectly, through their writers' imitation of William Morris. J. R. R. Tolkien was inspired by Morris's reconstructions of early Germanic life in The House of the Wolfings (1889) and The Roots of the Mountains (1890).
William Morris. Wikipedia.