The Wood Beyond the World

Read by Cori Samuel

(4.5 stars; 123 reviews)

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 in travelling through the Mountains of the Folk of the Bears. But can he find happiness and peace by means of his Quest?

Read by Cori Samuel. Edited by Mandarine. Summary by Cori with reference to Wikipedia. (5 hr 20 min)


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(4 stars)

I know William Morris as a designer of the Arts and Crafts movement so it came as a surprise that he also wrote this novel. It is a fantasy novel of a young man, heartbroken by the betrayal of his wife, who takes to sea, only to be shipwrecked and marooned on an unknown island. He wanders into an enchanted manor, where he becomes entangled between two beautiful women/enchantresses who vie for his affection. The Pre-Raphaelite Movement, of which Morris was a part, took inspiration from familiar stories and themes of Arthurian legend, and this novel is consistent with that inspiration of romance and fantasy of the chivalric age. Be aware that Morris deliberately wrote in the style of the literature of the 15th century, so unless you have read Malory with a glossary, or even the King James version of the Bible, you will have difficulty understanding the book in audio version. The narrator was extraordinarily clear and expressive.

(5 stars)

def hard to understand what's going on while working. but I love william Morris and it was really well written tho wordy for us today (and maybe then too). if you like william Morris and maybe are driving or something. something where u are zoning out but wont fall asleep. its perfect.

great for insomniacs

(3 stars)

Not in a bad way. Well-read tale, but the archaic style and dreamy ambience make this a reliable audiobook to put on in the middle of the night when you are fighting insomnia and the worries of the modern world are crowding in. Put the timer on 15 minutes.

The Infancy of Modern Fiction

(5 stars)

It's a great story! But very wordy. I'd say the mastery is in the language itself! And read by the lovely Cori Samuel, there could not be a more delightful or sweet voice to portray the maiden. Well done.

Stick with it..

(5 stars)

beautifully read by the excellent Cori but hard at first to accept the language style. I did get used to it and in the end thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful rambling fairy story.

Relaxing, Engaging Tale...

(4 stars)

Definitely inspired by Medieval Romances- an entertaining adventure with some mystery and magical elements. Cori Samuel is perfect as a reader- of course.

(4.5 stars)

Very well read. Story interesting but at times a little hard to follow due to language style so I had to relished parts sveral times

Perfect Ethereal Narration of a Fantasy Forerunner

(4 stars)

Cori Samuel's voice is a lovely counterfoil for Morris's early fantasy tale.