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  • Author: William Morris

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  1. A Dream of John Ball

    A Dream of John Ball (1888) is a novel by English author William Morris about the English peasants' revolt of 1381 and the rebel John Ball. Like the novels close contemporary - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) by Mark Twain - it describes a dream and time travel encounter between the medieval and modern worlds. However unlike Twain's vision of a violent and chaotic "Dark Age", Morris describes a positive image of the Middle Ages, seeing it as a golden, if brief, period when peasants were prosperous and happy and guilds protected workers from exploitation. Learn More
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    A Dream of John Ball
  2. News from Nowhere

    News from Nowhere (1890) is a classic work combining utopian socialism and soft science fiction written by the artist, designer and socialist pioneer William Morris. In the book, the narrator, William Guest, falls asleep after returning from a meeting of the Socialist League and awakes to find himself in a future society based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. In this society there is no private property, no big cities, no authority, no monetary system, no divorce, no courts, no prisons, and no class systems. This agrarian society functions simply because the people find pleasure in nature, and therefore they find pleasure in their work.
    The book explores a number of aspects of this society, including its organisation and the relationships which it engenders between people. Learn More
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    News from Nowhere
  3. The Sundering Flood

    The Sundering Flood, among the last of Morris's works, was published in 1897, after his death. The beautiful prose and rich use of language are typical of Morris and fill the reader with a sense of awe and wonder. The "flood" of the title is nothing less than a river, metaphorically as well as literally dividing two lovers. And there is the fantastic, too: dwarf folk, a magic sword, and an ageless warrior to mentor the hero. All told, a delightful story certain to appeal to all lovers of classic fantasy. "C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien both acknowledged the influence of William Morris." Learn More
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    The Sundering Flood
  4. The Well at the World's End

    Using language with elements of the medieval tales which were his models, Morris tells the story of Ralph of Upmeads, the fourth and youngest son of a minor king, who sets out, contrary to his parents' wishes, to find knightly adventure and seek the Well at the World's End, a magic well which will confer a near-immortality and strengthened destiny on those who drink from it.
    Although the novel is relatively obscure by today's standards it has had a significant influence on many notable fantasy authors. C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien both seem to have found inspiration in The Well at the World's End: ancient tables of stone, a "King Peter", a quick, white horse named "Silverfax", and a character named "Gandalf" are only a few, to say nothing of Ralph's journey home as denouement, anticipating the Hobbits' return and battle for the Shire. Learn More
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    The Well at the World's End
  5. The Wood Beyond the World

    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. Learn More
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    The Wood Beyond the World

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