William Morris: The Wood beyond the World

(2161 words)

Published in 1894, The Wood Beyond the World is the fourth of Morris's early prose romances and the second, after The Glittering Plain (1891), to combine the essential elements of the fantasy genre—a purely imagined medievalesque world and the supernatural. Together with The Well at the World's End (1896), it has a title capable, as the later fantasist C. S. Lewis pointed out, of evoking a feeling of wonder. From the earliest folklore and fairy stories, the wood has been the locus of the mysterious, the dangerous, and the marvelous, but how then did this one get beyond the confines of this world? How does one get there? In one sense the book's title insures its success, for we are compelled to read it to …

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Boenig, Robert. "The Wood beyond the World". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 November 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8212, accessed 28 May 2015.]