Revisiting The Wood Beyond The World by William Morris

SFFaudio Commentary

I am in error. Mark your calendars folks!

It seems I mis-gendered the very feminine voice of Cori Samuel who has rightfully pointed out my big error on her blog. Cori writes:

Soooo, almost a year after I started working on it, and several months after Mandarine agreed to take on the huge task of editing this lovely-crazy book, ’tis done. The Wood Beyond the World, by William Morris, is available as a LibriVox audiobook.

It’s a great fantasy story, with interesting characters and strange plots, and it was splendid fun to read the pseudo-archaic language, even if I was tearing my hair out over it at times. Annoyingly, I think the counter has broken again, it still registers only 197 downloads so far, or else no-one’s downloaded it since the first day it was released — which is possible! SFFaudio set the original challenge and gave the book a good mention in their (excellent) recent podcast, but unfortunately, they DID refer to me as a ‘he’ throughout, so perhaps this is one of those books it’s better to read about than to read/hear. Or else they’d gotten confused with the other semi-freely available recording of the book, which can be found at AudioBooksForFree and runs a whole 10 mins longer than mine (a slower pace, not any deficiency of text, I hasten to note!) Read with a lovely British male accent, but only the lowest audioquality is available for free.

Now I could plead that the podcast where I made this gaff was recorded at 5AM before any coffee was imbibed. That, I’m overburdened, overworked, and underpaid (zero is a number). But, the plain truth is, I hadn’t listen to Cori’s recording at that point.

Which was rather shoddy of me.


I’ve now listened to part 1, and am working my way through part 2. This |MP3| ably illustrates Cori’s lovely, lovely, reading.

So, now I entreat any and all to do as I’ve done, and make that 197 number grow. Please, if you would, download, enjoy…

LibriVox Fantasy Audiobook - The Wood Beyond The World by William MorrisThe Wood Beyond the World
By William Morris; Read by Cori Samuel
12 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 5 Hours 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: October 9th, 2008
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. His use of archaic language has been seen by some modern readers as making his fiction difficult to read, but brings a wonderful atmosphere to the telling. Morris considered his fantasies a revival of the medieval tradition of chivalrous romances. In consequence, they tend to have sprawling plots of strung-together adventures. In this story, Walter leaves his father and his own unfaithful wife and sets sail in search of adventure. This he finds aplenty, encountering love, treachery and magic in the Wood of the title and travelling through the Mountains of the Folk of the Bears. But can he find happiness and peace by means of this Quest?

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Posted by Jesse Willis

One thought to “Revisiting The Wood Beyond The World by William Morris”

  1. Morris is a wonderful fantasy writer — both his Norse stuff and the stories like this and The Well at the World’s End. He was a big influence on both Tolkien and Lewis, as you’ll find out when you read him. (Although the title of this novel is a BIG HINT to Narnia readers.) But Morris is far too little read, these days. His poetry’s pretty good, too. (And his wallpaper, of course.)

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