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The Wood Beyond the World 

The Wood Beyond the World

Written by: William Morris
Edited by: Robert Boenig

Series: Broadview Editions

Publication Date: May 31, 2010
236pp • Paperback / PDF / ePub
ISBN: 9781551119823 / 155111982X

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A groundbreaking fantasy novel, The Wood Beyond the World tells the story of a young man, Golden Walter, who finds himself in a strange and frightening world after being abandoned by his wife and lost at sea. The novel takes the form of Walter's quest for the visionary Maid that he sees at the beginning of his journey, and takes him from his failed marriage through temptation to emotional fulfillment. Set in Morris's imaginative recreation of a medieval world, the novel is full of vivid imagery and surprising emotional realism.

This edition collates for the first time the three early texts of the work. The introduction discusses the place of the book among Morris's other prose romances, the events of his life, and his activities as a visual artist and a socialist. The appendices provide excerpts from Morris's translation of Beowulf, other medieval texts read by Morris, and writings by his contemporaries on politics and aesthetics.

Robert Boenig is Professor of English at Texas A&M University, and the co-editor, with Andrew Taylor, of the Broadview Edition of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.

Academics please note that this is a title classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. While the availability of bound complimentary copies is restricted to desk copies only, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption. Should you choose to adopt the book after viewing an electronic copy we will be happy to provide a bound desk copy.

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William Morris: A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Text

The Wood Beyond the World

Appendix A:  Morris and Medieval Narrative

  1. From Morris's translation of Beowulf: The Fight at Finnsburg
  2. From the Magnússon/Morris translation of The Volsungs and Niblungs: Sigurd, Brynhild, and Gudrun
  3. From Malory's Morte Darthur: Pelleas, Gawain, and Ettard
  4. Palomydes' Lament

Appendix B: Morris's Writings

  1. "The Socialist Ideal" (1891)
  2. "How I Became a Socialist" (1894)

Appendix C: Works by Morris's Contemporaries

  1. From Karl Marx, Das Kapital (1848)
  2. From John Ruskin, Pre-Raphaelitism (1851)
  3. From Robert Buchanan, "The Fleshly School of Poetry" (1871)
  4. William Hurrell Mallock, "How to Make a Modern Pre-Raphaelite Poem" (1872)
  5. May Morris, from the Introduction to The Collected Works of William Morris (1913)

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The Wood Beyond the World

2010 • 236pp • Paperback • 9781551119823 / 155111982X

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Broadview Press acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, and also acknowledges the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Freehand Books, an imprint of Broadview, acknowledges the support of the Canadian Council of the Arts.