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For other authors named William Morris, see the disambiguation page.

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About the Author

Morris was the Victorian Age's model of the Renaissance man. Arrested in 1885 for preaching socialism on a London street corner (he was head of the Hammersmith Socialist League and editor of its paper, The Commonweal, at the time), he was called before a magistrate and asked for identification. He show more modestly described himself upon publication (1868--70) as "Author of "The Earthly Paradise,' pretty well known, I think, throughout Europe." He might have added that he was also the head of Morris and Company, makers of fine furniture, carpets, wallpapers, stained glass, and other crafts; founder of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings; and founder, as well as chief designer, for the Kelmscott Press, which set a standard for fine book design that has carried through to the present. His connection to design is significant. Morris and Company, for example, did much to revolutionize the art of house decoration and furniture in England. Morris's literary productions spanned the spectrum of styles and subjects. He began under the influence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti with a Pre-Raphaelite volume called The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems (1858); he turned to narrative verse, first in the pastoral mode ("The Earthly Paradise") and then under the influence of the Scandinavian sagas ("Sigurd the Volsung"). After "Sigurd," his masterpiece, Morris devoted himself for a time exclusively to social and political affairs, becoming known as a master of the public address; then, during the last decade of his life, he fused these two concerns in a series of socialist romances, the most famous of which is News from Nowhere (1891). (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Portrait of William Morris, aged 53 by Frederick Hollyer.


Works by William Morris

The Wood Beyond the World (1892) 760 copies
The Sundering Flood (1897) 185 copies
The Roots of the Mountains (1979) 98 copies
The Earthly Paradise (1878) 59 copies
A Dream of John Ball (1900) 39 copies
The Life and Death of Jason (1867) 37 copies
The Hollow Land (2005) 34 copies
Hopes and Fears for Art (1994) 28 copies
Poems by the Way (1891) 26 copies
Defence of Guenevere (1981) 24 copies
Love Is Enough (2012) 23 copies
Old French Romances (1896) 23 copies
Selected Poems (1992) 22 copies
Icelandic Journals (1969) 22 copies
Signs of Change (1888) 20 copies
William Morris: wallpapers and chintzes (1973) — Illustrator — 17 copies
The Novel on Blue Paper (1982) 9 copies
Chants for Socialists (1935) 8 copies
Masters in This Hall (1958) — Words — 8 copies
Arte y artesanía (2011) 8 copies
Pocketful of Stars (1994) 7 copies
Arts and crafts essays (1996) 6 copies
Gothic architecture (2001) 6 copies
The Revolt of Ghent (2011) 5 copies
La era del sucedáneo (2016) 5 copies
The History of Over Sea (1909) 5 copies
Konst och politik (1977) 4 copies
William Morris ABC (2017) 4 copies
Art and socialism (2001) 3 copies
Wallpapers and Designs (1971) 2 copies
Politics, art and society (2001) 2 copies
Poems by William Morris (1904) 2 copies
Umudun Yolcuları (2007) 2 copies
Ten Pre-Raphaelite Poems (2011) 2 copies
La Défense de Guenièvre (2021) 2 copies
Poems of Protest (2013) 2 copies
An Essay on Printing (2012) 1 copy
Under an Elm-Tree, etc (1891) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Odyssey (0750) — Translator, some editions — 52,452 copies
Beowulf (1000) — Translator, some editions — 25,117 copies
The Essex Serpent (2016) — Cover artist, some editions — 3,075 copies
The Saga of the Volsungs (1270) — Translator, some editions — 1,603 copies
Myths of the Norsemen: From the Eddas and Sagas (1909) — Contributor, some editions — 1,467 copies
Laxdaela Saga (1245) — Contributor, some editions — 921 copies
The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (1400) — Designer, some editions; Illustrator, some editions — 797 copies
Goblin Market (1862) — Illustrator, some editions — 734 copies
Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy (2003) — Contributor — 605 copies
English Poetry, Volume III: From Tennyson to Whitman (1909) — Contributor — 605 copies
Masterpieces of Fantasy and Wonder (1989) — Contributor — 328 copies
Good King Wenceslas (1988) — Introduction, some editions — 311 copies
The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-tongue (1800) — Translator, some editions — 304 copies
Epic and Saga (1909) — Translator — 264 copies
Masterpieces of Fantasy and Enchantment (1988) — Contributor — 260 copies
Art History and Its Methods: A Critical Anthology (1995) — Contributor — 230 copies
A Treasury of Fantasy (1981) — Contributor — 185 copies
The Portable Victorian Reader (1972) — Contributor — 176 copies
A Documentary History of Art, Volume 3 (1966) — Contributor — 151 copies
The Young Magicians (1969) — Contributor — 139 copies
Dystopia Utopia: Short Stories (2016) — Contributor — 123 copies
The Standard Book of British and American Verse (1932) — Contributor — 113 copies
Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy (1972) — Contributor — 99 copies
The Mammoth Book of Merlin (2009) — Contributor — 97 copies
Heroic Fantasy Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy) (2017) — Contributor — 77 copies
The Road Not Taken and Other Poems (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (2015) — Cover artist, some editions — 73 copies
The Merlin Chronicles (1995) — Contributor — 66 copies
A Book of Narrative Verse (1930) — Contributor — 61 copies
Victorian Love Stories: An Oxford Anthology (1996) — Contributor — 48 copies
Selected English Short Stories (First Series) (1914) — Contributor — 36 copies
Writing Politics: An Anthology (2020) — Contributor — 35 copies
Epic Fantasy Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy) (2019) — Contributor — 31 copies
Modern Arthurian Literature (1992) — Contributor — 31 copies
Dark of the Moon: Poems of Fantasy and the Macabre (1947) — Contributor — 25 copies
Great Ghost Stories: 34 Classic Tales of the Supernatural (2002) — Contributor — 25 copies
Tales of Dungeons and Dragons (1986) — Contributor — 23 copies
Kingdoms of Sorcery: An Anthology of Adult Fantasy (1976) — Contributor — 21 copies
Le livre d'or de la Science-Fiction : Le manoir des roses (1978) — Contributor — 20 copies
Nobilis: A Roleplaying Game (1999) — Illustrator, some editions — 17 copies
I Preraffaelliti (1974) — Illustrator — 15 copies
Mediaeval Lore from Bartholomew Anglicus (1893) — Preface, some editions — 14 copies
English Narrative Poems (1909) — Contributor — 12 copies
Oxford and Oxfordshire in Verse (1982) — Contributor — 11 copies
The Religion of Beauty: Selections from the Aesthetes (1950) — Contributor — 11 copies
Selected English short stories XIX & XX centuries (1914) — Contributor — 11 copies
The Masterpiece Library of Short Stories Volumes 1 & 2 (1940) — Translator — 10 copies
Utopiasosialistit (2009) 8 copies
La poesía inglesa románticos y victorianos — Contributor — 4 copies
The Big Book for Girls — Contributor — 1 copy
The Odyssey of Homer, Vol. 2 — Translator, some editions — 1 copy
The Odyssey of Homer, Vol. 1 — Translator, some editions — 1 copy


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Common Knowledge



Lawton Kennedy on William Morris in Fine Press Forum (February 15)


I picked this book because i read that this book inspired Narnia and The Lord of The Rings series.

The first thing I notice about this book is the language. The author uses old-english like style that are somewhat challenging to read, especially for new readers. But in my case, I became used to it and after read the book, i understood that it is needed to compliment the themes and settings of this book.

This book has 3 part. And follow the story of a young Prince that seeking for adventures, and how he overcome the obstacles.

The story itself is slow at the start. The beginning of the book reads like a sort of fairytale or children story, but then at the later part, it become more mature plot-wise. The boring part is in the second half of the first part and I almost abandon this book out of boredeom, but I'm glad i didn't. Starting from Part 2, the plot and the main character become more interesting. For some people the prose and the story's structure can be a drag compared to a modern fantasy stories. But I personally didn't have a problem.

The characters count are plenty but not overwhelming. And some of them are well-written especially the main character, as this book tells how he grown to become a man over the course of the story.

Overall, i didn't expect this book to become one of my favorites. I recommend it anyone who love fantasy books, bonus point if you also like old-english prose.
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arifrohman | 6 other reviews | Jan 23, 2024 |
A book that describes a socialist/communist Utopia in England - whats not to like? - Answer, William Morris' book published in 1890. The hero William Guest (yes very witty) falls asleep after a meeting of the socialist league - he might well have fallen asleep during the meeting of the socialist league, and dreams that he has woken up in some sort of future socialist utopia. To keep the reader guessing, for a short time Guest does not know where he is, but the sun is shinning and everybody that he meets acts kindly and considerately. He then embarks on a journey up the river Thames with his new friends learning from them the joys brought about by common ownership and the ditching of machines.

I found the book weakly thought through with it golden glow version of socialism based on handicrafts and the love of nature. Guest learns from an elderly boffin the history of the previous two hundred years as he continues his journey of discovery following the river Thames through sleepy villages that were once commuter hubs for the cockneys. Its all so facile and even worse than that; it is boring. This did not work for me on any level, probably it will be the worst read of the year - 2 stars.
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baswood | 16 other reviews | Oct 3, 2023 |
Very disappointed. Put it down a third of the way through. The verse bits are just unbearably plodding. You know a book has failed you (or you it, I suppose) when you give up in the middle of a battle scene. *yawn*
judeprufrock | 6 other reviews | Jul 4, 2023 |
This book truly does have everything you'd want from a medieval romance of this sort. The denoument was pretty long and hard to get into after the climax at the Well, but it got better as I went along, and I just reminded myself how Tolkien's LOTR finished in a similar way and no doubt owed such to the end of The Well.

Definitely think I'll try some other Morris.
judeprufrock | 6 other reviews | Jul 4, 2023 |



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Gillian Naylor Contributor
Edward R. Bosley Contributor
Pat Kirkham Contributor
Elaine Norman Designer
Sarah Dunster Poetry editor
Lin Carter Introduction
Asa Briggs Editor
Graeme Shankland Introduction
A. L. Morton Introduction
Alfred Noyes Introduction
A.G. Smith Designer
James P. Carley Introduction
Hans Kung Foreword
Theric Jepson Foreword
Tyler Chadwick Contributor
Karen Rosenbaum Contributor
Terresa Wellborn Contributor
Dayna Patterson Contributor
Liz Busby Contributor
Jennifer Swenson Contributor
Robert A. Rees Contributor
James Goldberg Contributor
Jim Richards Contributor
Jeremy Hunt Contributor
Gervasio Gallardo Cover artist
Clara Steinitz Translator
Max Schuchart Translator
Norman Talbot Introduction
May Morris Introduction
Gary Aho Introduction
Alfred Fairbank Contributor
Grace J Calder Introduction
Isaac Asimov Preface


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