The Water of the Wondrous Isles
The Water of the Wondrous Isles is a fantasy novel by William Morris, perhaps the first modern fantasy writer to unite an imaginary world with the element of the supernatural, and thus the precursor of much of present-day fantasy literature. It was first published in hardcover by Morris' Kelmscott Press in 1897. Its importance in the history of fantasy literature was recognized by its republication by Ballantine Books as the thirty-eighth volume of the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in November, 1971. The Ballantine edition includes an introduction by Lin Carter.
Morris considered his fantasies a revival of the medieval tradition of chivalrous romances, in consequence they tend to have sprawling plots of strung-together adventures.
– from Wikipedia
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.