The Well at the World's End: A Tale, Volume 1

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Longmans, Green, and Company, 1896 - English fiction - 279 pages
7 Reviews
The epic fantasy novel that defined the genre, now in one volume As the youngest son of a king, Ralph of Upmeads is expected to forsake adventure for the safety of home. But the call of the Well at the World's End is too powerful to resist, and Ralph disobeys his parents in order to seek out his true destiny in its magical waters. The journey is long and arduous as the well lies on the far side of a distant mountain range and the lands beyond Upmeads are full of treacherous characters. With the help of a beautiful maiden and an ancient hermit, Ralph completes his quest and raises the cup of immortality and wisdom to his lips. The question is, what will he do with his newfound powers? Widely recognized as the forerunner to modern fantasy, The Well at the World's End is a magnificent tale of romance and adventure and a major influence on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.

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User Review  - gypsysmom - LibraryThing

William Morris was the epitome of a Renaissance man. He was an architect, sculptor and artist. He designed furniture and fabrics and invented labour saving devices. "The Well at the World's End, his ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - electrascaife - LibraryThing

Knights Errant and damosels aplenty, quests and bad guys and all that good stuff. I enjoyed it, but likely would have done so more had I not recently finished another of Morris' chunkster fantasy novels. Moderation in all things, and all that. Read full review


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Page 125 - ... such women, old and young, weigh in thy mind beside the word I tell thee of what I have seen and know concerning this most excellent of ladies ? I trow not. And for my part I tell thee, that though she is verily as fair as Venus (God save us) yet is she as chaste as Agnes, as wise as Katherine, and as humble and meek as Dorothy. She bestoweth her goods plentifully to the church, and is merciful to poor men therewith ; and so far as occasion may serve her she is constant at the Holy Office ; neither...
Page 11 - What is that water? " said Ralph, "and how may I find it?" "I know not rightly," she said, "but if a body might come by it, I hear say that it saveth from weariness and wounding and sickness; and it winneth love from all, and maybe life everlasting.
Page 376 - Ralph, left alone, was sorely moved with hope and fear, and a longing that grew in him to see the damsel. For though he was firmly set on departure, and on seeking the sage aforesaid, yet his heart was drawn this way and that : and it came into his mind how the damsel would fare when the evil Lord came home to Utterbol ; and he could not choose but make stories of her meeting of the tyrant, and her fear and grief and shame, and the despair of her heart.
Page 189 - ... the Well at the World's End is no evil but only the Quenching of Sorrow, and Clearing of the Eyes that they may behold.
Page 293 - Clement that though the tillers and toilers of Goldburg were not for the most part mere thralls and chattels, as in the lands beyond the mountains behind them, yet were they little more thriving for that cause ; whereas they belonged not to a master, who must at worst feed them, and to no manor, whose acres they might till for their livelihood, and on whose pastures they might feed their cattle ; nor had they any to help or sustain them against the oppressor and the...
Page 294 - ... had the work of their hands good cheap; and they forsooth heeded them less than their draught beasts whom they must needs buy with money, and whose bellies they must needs fill; whereas these poor wretches were slaves without a price, and if one died another took his place on the chance that thereby he might escape present death by hunger , for there was a great many of them...

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