The Wood Beyond the Worldby William Morris
In The Wood Beyond the World, a sea voyage separates the more fantastic realms from the hero Walter's mundane home town, though the land of the Wood sends visions even there – of the land's witchy Mistress, her enslaved Maid, and a hideous, savagely energetic dwarf servitor. Walter defies all advice and reason, abandons his fellows, and sets off through mountains and wastes to the Wood where he can meet the mysterious three the stage is set for triangular games of love and power.
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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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