Whilom, as tells the tale, was a walled cheaping-town hight Utterhay, which was builded in a bight of the land a little off the great highway which went from over the mountains to the sea. The said town was hard on the borders of a wood, which men held to be mighty great, or maybe measureless; though few indeed had entered it, and they that had, brought back tales wild and confused thereof. Therein was neither highway nor byway, nor wood-reeve nor way-warden; never came chapman thence into Utterhay; no man of Utterhay was so poor or so bold that he durst raise the hunt therein; no outlaw durst flee thereto; no man of God had such trust in the saints that he durst build him a cell in that wood. For all men deemed it more than perilous; and some said that there walked the worst of the dead; othersome that the Goddesses of the Gentiles haunted there; others again that it was the faery rather, but they full of malice and guile. But most commonly it was deemed that the devils swarmed amidst of its thickets, and that wheresoever a man sought to, who was once environed by it, ever it was the Gate of Hell whereto he came. And the said wood was called Evilshaw.
The tale tells that in times long past there was a dwelling of men beside a great wood. Before it lay a plain, not very great, but which was, as it were, an isle in the sea of woodland, since even when you stood on the flat ground, you could see trees everywhere in the offing, though as for hills, you could scarce say that there were any; only swellings-up of the earth here and there, like the upheavings of the water that one sees at whiles going on amidst the eddies of a swift but deep stream.
The tale of the House of the Wolfings in its struggles against the legionaries of Rome then advancing into Northern Germany.
This early work by William Morris was originally published in 1899 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introductory biography. William Morris was born in London, England in 1834. Arguably best known as a textile designer, he founded a design partnership which deeply influenced the decoration of churches and homes during the early 20th century. However, he is also considered an important Romantic writer and pioneer of the modern fantasy genre, being a direct influence on authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien. As well as fiction, Morris penned poetry and essays. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
The Wood Beyond the World 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. When the wife of Golden Walter betrays him for another man, he leaves home on a trading voyage to avoid the necessity of a feud with her family. His efforts are fruitless, as word comes to him enroute that his wife's clan has killed his father. As a storm then carries him to a faraway country, the effect of this news is merely to sunder his last ties to his homeland.
Up at the League, says a friend, there had been one night a brisk conversational discussion, as to what would happen on the Morrow of the Revolution, finally shading off into a vigorous statement by various friends of their views on the future of the fully-developed new society. Says our friend: Considering the subject, the discussion was good-tempered; for those present being used to public meetings and after-lecture debates, if they did not listen to each others’ opinions (which could scarcely be expected of them), at all events did not always attempt to speak all together, as is the custom of people in ordinary polite society when conversing on a subject which interests them. For the rest, there were six persons present, and consequently six sections of the party were represented, four of which had strong but divergent Anarchist opinions.
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