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The Water of the Wondrous Isles by William…

The Water of the Wondrous Isles (1897)

by William Morris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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211479,468 (3.7)38



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A fore runner to many of the modern fantasy books. Beautifully told ( )
  jgreenst | Mar 16, 2009 |
I have tried to read this book a couple times and found the language a bit dense and archaic for my tastes. Both Lovecraft and C.S. Lewis give it some praise though so maybe I'll manage to plow through it one day.

- Peter K.
  Kisners42 | Jul 15, 2007 |
The second of Morris's pioneering fantasy novels moves beyond the tentative world-making of 'The Wood Beyond The World' and presents a much more expansive milieu of darker magic and more troubled characters.
An unexpected touch is that the main character Birdalone is a somewhat feisty, self-reliant and determined female and this in only the second fantasy novel ever published.
At times erotic, at times dark and troubled, the characters interact in many ways as a love triangle evolves involving Birdalone.
The style of course is typical for Morris, a dense archaic prose with dialogue presented without the benefit of quotation marks or even paragraph breaks much of the time.
Coming only a year after 1894's 'The Wood Beyond The World', this second novel would itself be followed a year later by the epic 'The Well At The World's End'. Morris's death shortly afterwards would put an end to this remarkable creative burst.
Not easy to read but rewarding for afficionados of the fantasy genre. ( )
1 vote schteve | Mar 11, 2007 |
This is an unbelievably difficult book to read. Morris plainly thought he was creating a modern Patient Griselda, but the crypto-masochism involved is queasily unfun. In the final part of the book it is hard not to see Morris as working out his own situation, viz. his wife and Rossetti
  StephenPlotkin | Dec 10, 2006 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Morrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gallardo, GervasioCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Talbot, NormanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345024214, Paperback)

Fantasy novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:52 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

William Morris was born in Walthamstow, London on 24th March 1834 he is regarded today as a foremost poet, writer, textile designer, artist and libertarian. Morris began to publish poetry and short stories in 1856 through the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine which he founded with his friends and financed while at university. His first volume, in 1858, The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems, was the first published book of Pre-Raphaelite poetry. Due to its luke warm reception he was discouraged from poetry writing for a number of years. His return to poetry was with the great success of The Life and Death of Jason in 1867, which was followed by The Earthly Paradise, themed around a group of medieval wanderers searching for a land of everlasting life; after much disillusion, they discover a surviving colony of Greeks with whom they exchange stories. In the collection are retellings of Icelandic sagas. From then until his Socialist period Morris's fascination with the ancient Germanic and Norse peoples dominated his writing being the first to translate many of the Icelandic sagas into English; the epic retelling of the story of Sigurd the Volsung being his favourite. In 1884 he founded the Socialist League but with the rise of the Anarachists in the party he left it in 1890. In 1891 he founded the Kelmscott Press publishing limited edition illuminated style books. His design for The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer is a masterpiece. Morris was quietly approached with an offer of the Poet Laureateship after the death of Tennyson in 1892, but declined. William Morris died at age 62 on 3rd October 1896 in London. Here we present The Water of the Wondrous Isles.… (more)

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