The Well at the World's Endby William Morris
First published in 1896, this book describes a long journey through a magical landscape, a geographical as well as spiritual quest.
In the land of Upmeads King Peter's sons thrist for adventure. At last the king agrees that all but Ralph, the youngest, may go forth. But the next day Ralph secretly makes his way to Wulstead. Here it is that he first learns about the Well at the World's End – the 'water that saveth from weariness and wounding and sickness, that winneth love from all and maybe love everlasting'.
As Raplh travels through the ever-changing landscape, encountering danger and battle and love, we are drawn into the fantastic world Morris has created – through chalk downland and the Wood Perilous, through wilderness and mountains and the Sea of Molten Rocks, and finally to the Well at the World's End.
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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.
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