The works of William Morris were hugely influential in the development of the fantasy genre It s necessary to note that, because some of the characteristics of this book, while groundbreaking at the time, have since passed into overuse, cliche, and scorn Notably, it s written in faux archaic language in mimicry of medieval romances, and the plot hasthan a hint of adolescent wish fulfillment A book like this written today would probably be considered garbage at least to publishers and literary critics , but at the time it was written it was really something new and special.The biggest flaw, I found, was that the fantasy setting never quite enchanted me, never drew me in or seemed to come to life the way the worlds of Tolkien, Dunsany, and Lewis do And the characters didn t seem fully real, eitherthere was perhaps too much of the archetype in them for them to seem like living, breathing individuals.Still, I did like it Reading it felt like uncovering something old, precious, and powerful a relic from a bygone era And I think that if I had read it earlier in life, I might have liked it even . Although a continuous narrative, this was a book of three distinct phases for me Firstly was the set up, how Walter came to be in the Woods beyond the World During this part I was still getting use to the antiquated prose and narrative style, finding my rhythm while not much interesting happened plot wise.Then I got to the central part of the story, in which Walter becomes embroiled in a strange love square While Walter sits back and passively waits for events to unfold, the others conspire and plot against each other For me, this was the most fascinating part of the story, in which I had found my stride with the prose and was enrapt by the characters and their machinations.And then, when Walter and the maid flee and eventually make their way back to the normal world, the story began to peter out and my interest waned towards the end I guess I was expectingof an intricate plot and a twist in the tail of the story which did not happen.As is so often the case, it comes down to one s expectations and how far they are exceeded or fallen short of I picked up the book without particularly high expectations as I suspected that it might be overly antiquated and quaint but these expectations were surpassed by the middle of the book Then, finding my self really enjoying the book, I felt somewhat let down by the end as the story failed, in my opinion, to realise its full potential.Still, an interesting and enjoyable experience of one of the key novels that helped shape modern fantasy as we know it A must read for a anyone interested in the origins of the genre. The Wood Beyond The World Was First Published InAnd Its Author, William Morris Is Often Considered One Of The Authors Who Aided In The Growth Of Fantasy, Utopian Literature, And Science Fiction CS Lewis Cites William Morris As One Of His Favorite Authors And JRR Tolkein Admits To Being Influenced Greatly By Morris Fantasies The Hero Of This Romance Is Named Golden Walter, Son Of Bartholomew Golden, A Great Merchant In The Town Of Langton On Holm Tired Of His Mundane Life, Walter Sets Out On A Sea Voyage, Anxious To See And Learn Of The Outside World, Eventually Winning For Himself The Kingdom Of Stark Wall And The Love Of A Beautiful Maiden what the hell did i just read I was really surprised by this story I thought that based on how long ago it was written it was going to beboring than exciting I was wrong I can see where other authors fell in love with this story and wanted to write their own.Morris doesn t pull any punches for describing an alien place The way he weaves the characters and situations is captivating The ending leaves you for wanting .Much like Edgar Rice Burrough s inspiration, William Morris helped to start the heroic fantasy sword and sorcery genre with this little gem I read this story based on De Camp s mention in the Literary Swordsmen Sorcerers.I m looking forward to digging into THE WORM OUROBOROS by E R Eddison, ERIC BRIGHTEYES by H R Haggard and THE BROKEN SWORD by Poul Anderson. William Morris s The Wood beyond the World is an excellent example of the Faerie Romance Walter of Langton, finds himself on foreign soil and stumbles his way into what can only be called Faerie There he falls in love with what must be an Elf maiden and must battle a dwarf, an enchantress, and an evil man before he can escape from that Perilous Realm Even then, the lovers woes are not over Uncertainty amongst the Bears and the people of Stark Wall must be overcome before any ending, happy or ill, can be seen for the twain Read this book by an author who had a profound impact on G K Chesterton, C S Lewis, and J R R Tolkien. This is a true myth I loved this book partly because I can see forshadows of Tolkien, C S Lewis, Peake, Charles Williams and many other great writers of fantasy What is the real world And what must one do to find it I make all things new, our Lord said Write it down That is humankind s hope, Christian or not This myth leads one on a journey toward that new heaven and earth might begin to look like The edition I have is a facsimile of the Kelmscott Press Edition Gothic letters and Morris embelishments A beautiful book. I am convinced that all ratings of this book are inflated by at least one star because people know going in that Morris was a key figure in the development of modern fantasy and an important influence on Tolkien and C.S Lewis.Granted, there are several of good ideas here which are utilized mucheffectively by Morris intellectual heirs archaism, medieval revival, appropriation of myth, etc However, these are not deftly applied here This book simply cannot stand on its own without the post hoc crutch of superior derivative art The plot is plodding and disjointed rampant with loose ends, coincidence, and characters devoid of plausible motivation view spoiler Walter s unhappy marriage and the tedious love triangles practically beg a modern reader to draw parallels with Morris own unhappy marriage and the blatant affair between his wife and the poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti From this angle, the story doesn t feel romantically hopeful or even cathartic, just desperate and pathetic hide spoiler This is around the third time I have read this book, and I still enjoyed it, but I need to remember to letthan just a few years go by before the next reading I was fuzzy enough on details this time to not remember exactly what would happen Until I got to various dramatic scenes, and then the consequences of them would scroll through my brain like a movie trailer This did not exactly spoil the book for me, but it would certainly have beenfun if I had not been able to remember anything at all about the unfolding of the plot And I might not have noticed the unusual items that caught my attention this time around I ll mention those as I go along, but meanwhile, this is the story of Golden Walter and his quest for love, which he began after leaving his cheating wife William Morris wrote in a style that would verily drive some readers to the brink, but I don t mind the thees, thous, forsooths, hithers and such This type of language can be very entertaining I tend to imagine some poor actress trying to be in character in a dramatic moment, hoping to remember to say her lines, which would be what The Maid told our Walter when they met in The Wood Beyond The World naturally, a lost and magical realm far out to sea Anyway, The Maid is trying to explain what Walter will need to do to survive, and at one point she says.but next I must needs tell thee of things whereof I wot, and thou wottest not It took me a couple of readings to wot what was meant there LOLAs I said, I noticed things this time that I might not have if I had beenlost in the story For example, The Lady is described at one point as being dressedin nought else but what God had given her of long, crispy yellow hairCrispy hair This is supposed to be a woman who isbeautiful than any Golden Walter could ever imagine and she has crispy hair I thought crispy meant brittle The word makes me think of cookies and potato chips So just for the sake of a clear mental picture I looked it up Turns out crispy can also mean curly or wavy Well, who knew And I got a kick out of another scene where Walter smiled and louted to The Lady I ve only ever understood lout to mean a clumsy, ill tempered boorish kind of guy I was imagining all kinds of odd things until I got me to the dictionary and found that when lout is a verb, it means to bend, stoop, or bow, especially in respect or courtesy. So if a lout louted would he still be considered a lout The idea leaves me dumbfoundered another fun real word I learned thanks to Mr Morris I am kind of making fun of the style and that is not really fair I enjoyed the book very much, it is a classic quest with magic, castles, bear people, and true love as the goal Does Golden Walter succeed Verily and forsooth, I wot but thou wottest not, and won t unless thou readest the book for thyself. Descatalogad simo cl sico de la fantas a del gran William Morris artesano, impresor, poeta, escritor, activista pol tico, pintor, dise ador y fundador del movimiento Arts and Crafts La nica edici n en castellano es la de Miraguano y por lo que parece la traducci n deja bastante que desear Yo le la de Urco editora en gallego, O bosque de al n do mundo Quien lea en ingl s aunque el autor utiliza un aqu un ingl s que imita al medieval , lo mejor que puede hacer es adquirir la maravillosa edici n de Kelmscott Press, hecha ntegra por el propio Morris imitando en todo a los manuscritos medievales.El planteamiento es de cuento total, sencillo el joven que parte en busca de una nueva vida, las tierras extra as, el enano horripilante, la Se ora bell sima y malvada, la Doncella esclava y hermosa la trama avanza lentamente, y poco a poco van apareciendo todos los elementos, uno tras otro, de lo que es hoy en d a la fantas a pica Merece la pena por lo que tuvo de innovador en su momento.