William Morris

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Re: William Morris

Postby markkur » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:48 am

Greetings Canamarth, I too enjoy Morris and have seen many "must have been inspirations" :) for the Professor. I am interested in reading your article on Morris; where can I read it in English?

Cheers
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Re: William Morris

Postby Canamarth » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:51 am

Hi markkur - sorry for the 'somewhat' :roll: tardy reply. Life has been keeping me busy. The article was published in English in Volume II of Fastitocalon, an academic journal.

Here's a link to the journal's website: http://fastitocalon.kolbitar.de/volumes.php

It can be ordered via the publisher: http://www.wvttrier.de/ (click on Periodika/Jahrbücher, then scroll down to Fastitocalon on the left; the order form is German/English)
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Re: William Morris

Postby Gohan » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:05 pm

Wow its nice to see that there are people on here appreciating William Morris' work
he had some sad themed poems but also some related to happy events
kind of an underrated writer imho
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Re: William Morris

Postby Canamarth » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:53 pm

You're right, Gohan. His writing is not so much talked about. I wonder if it would have been, had his other talents not made him so famous ... :) What do you think?
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Re: William Morris

Postby RoseMorninStar » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:30 pm

As a student of art/architecture I was familiar with William Morris from the Arts & Crafts period and in particular for his textile (fabric, drapery, wallpaper, & furniture) designs. I had no idea he was also a published writer until many years later; after becoming enamored with Tolkien's work. I have always had a bit of a curiosity & fascination with learning where an artists inspiration came from, be it another artist/writer's work or a particular place or.. whatever.
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Re: William Morris

Postby Canamarth » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:33 am

I studied literature but did come across Morris as an arts & crafts man first, and even as a Socialist, before I encountered his fantasy novels. :roll:
And that same curiosity, actually spurred by Tolkien's description of the mythological soup in "On Fairy Stories", drove me to explore the Tolkien-Morris relationship. I wanted to see what other ingredients make up Middle-earth, apart from the obvious ones discussed at length before.
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Re: William Morris

Postby markkur » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:13 pm

Thought I'd share that “appetizer” here for others.

"William Morris’ work and influence on later European writers of the Fantastic is at the centre of Canamarth's essay. She not only explores the motifs and themes for which Morris’ works provide the starting point, but also argues in favour of identifying William Morris as the father of European fantasy. This is all the more likely since Morris’s direct influence on J.R.R. Tolkien, the most prominent proponent of fantasy in the 20th century, has been known for some time, though never thoroughly investigated. Canamarth's study thus offers a first informed comprehensive analysis of Morris’ importance for the genesis of an (at first) European tradition of fantasy." {from the site}

You did answer…so I’ll continue too. This intermittent chat makes me think of that “scene on those nasty stairs” in LotR where a year divided each half of Sam and Frodo’s conversation. Peter Jackson said; “It’s like time-travel really.”

Regrettably I cannot further pursue due to a nasty dragon claiming all my gold. But I do hope your effort has been well received.

I think William Morris was a big part of Tolkien's source inspiration; one only need read his (Morris') portrayal of The Wolfings and the realism (very important for fantasy per JRRT) hints towards Rohan minus the mounts. I doubt the Professor looked at earlier writings for how to write or describe, he was very gifted by his enormous professional and personal exposure but I do think that the vast backdrop of Middle-Earth was a panorama view of all he met in the past that sang and shared the "high-heroic-song" and William Morris was certainly an important name on the list.

Recently I read The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison {1922} and <imvho> here is a name that was also added a little later at the end of JRRT's very long inspirational list. No doubt the Professor would have been appalled by Eddison's grabby-treatment of place-names but Eddison did excel at "terrain-description" and we know that JRRT was later nearly unequaled in writing and revealing landscapes and atmospheres. Of course, it's total speculation but I would wager that JRRT saw something else in Ouroboros. I found Eddison's incredible writing, at times, "a little long on description" because I wanted to get back to the action. This is exactly the same criticism that JRRT later readily accepted from CSL about "too much hobbit-talk." If I felt that way when something a writer loved was too “evident,” the Professor may also have felt and seen the very same. So, maybe this lesson he witnessed earlier and learned from Eddison's “wanderlust?” <L> I'll never know but I think it's far from a long-shot.

I've been a fan of JRRT for forty years but it took a long while before I learned his greatest legacy is not the books but all that he learned in creating those books. Following in his tracks is not silly nor nerdy, it is seeking to understand how he crafted all his various adventures into philology, language, poetry and historical-literature, into the greatest Faerie-story ever told. He was, in a word...absolutely brilliant! Ok, two words. <L>

Cheers and Merry Christmas!
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The Well at the World’s End

Postby markkur » Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:09 am

“Well at the World’s End”
{The inspiration for a grander tale}

In 1974 I first read the Hobbit and then devoured The Lord of the Rings. I well remember my thoughts after finishing the stories; I was enchanted like many people are but beyond that, I was absolutely enthralled by what I thought at the time was Tolkien’s inventive power.

As a creative person I am and have always been very interested in the concept of inspiration. That interest led me into poetry first and only recently to writing some prose of my own. I’ve shared that personal bit only because that has been a driving force as the years have passed; I extended my JRRT library to include all of his self-published works as well as those by his son. In addition, I’ve learned from various lecturers, read opinions at various fan-sites and continued to buy books from various Tolkien scholars that discuss all sorts of topics related to Middle-Earth.

Now that I’ve given an explanation for my passion regarding Tolkien and his works, both academic and his books, the subject that had been most on my mind has been his sources.

It is now very well-known that Tolkien was an educated and gifted miner that knew probably all of the richest veins of fantasy literature that yet survive. There have been many sources given as important inspirations for Tolkien; Beowulf, The Wanderer, The Finnish Kalavala, the Icelandic Sagas, Norse Mythology and the writings of William Morris to name some of the more prominent. It is the last source in that list that I wish to carefully consider and though a case has been made that Morris’ The Wolfing’s may have been the inspiration for the men of Rohan, minus the use of the horse, I think there is a much more important Morris book we need to consider because I now believe it forms the foundation of the Lord of the Rings. In reviewing The Well at the Worlds End, I know a sort of blueprint can be found.

I want to be very clear about what I am suggesting. I am not saying that the professor took this story and made some sort of outline in which he would follow in writing his own tale. What I am suggesting is just as he gleaned a great deal from older writings, i.e. the names of the Dwarves and some of the key elements of the Lord of the Rings, I believe the basic seed of his story is easily found within the Well at the World’s End. In short, I believe this story is an “inspirational-outline” for Tolkien’s later work and within the tale are a series of well-springs of great inspirational significance. I do not mean ideas that he would simply transplant, though there are those to be found in other works, but rather ideas that formed a huge backdrop and many ideas that could be bettered or enhanced. In my opinion the professor’s creative and inventive mind succeeded wonderfully.

However, the best way for me to explain what I think I see, is to share excerpts from the earlier fantasy. For with these numerous examples my reasons become more than conjecture it becomes rather obvious.

Before taking a look at what I will call an interesting comparison, I need to make a couple of new points and reemphasize one I’ve already made. Again, my proposal is that there are many sources of inspirations but to my mind, this single story overwhelms all the rest of the sources combined.

The chief points of this older tale are manifold. One, adventure is the key to the story. The Well at the World’s End is absolutely a there and back again tale. A second point is that the protagonists are greatly changed by the to and fro and also because of the back-tracking, just as in The Lord of the Rings. Another aspect of this that I enjoy is that places within the story are revisited but under much different circumstances and our characters are greatly changed; think on the stature of the hobbits once they are back home in the shire.

There are two other points to be made but not about inspiration but rather what to absolutely avoid. The professor was a Catholic and though he was a man of strong faith, he did not like the mixing of real-life faith and his fantasy writing or anyone else writing in this manner; I.e his friend C.S.L. inside his children’s books. We know he did not care for (outright) allegory but believed applicability was the central tool of good storytelling.

Regarding any sort of evangelism, The Professor did believe in what he called “scratching the ground” or “preparing the soil for seeds” and considered that work an important ministry and (I think) he was satisfied at that being his work for God. However, even in this effort, he objected to having obvious church objects or persons like Morris wrote into The Well or C.S. Lewis had in his Narnia stories. Instead, Tolkien injected his faith into his writing by weaving the values he treasured deep inside his tale.

Another very important aspect to Tolkien, that everyone should know, was nomenclature. He avoided naming things at a whim, like Morris did in this story and E.R. Eddison did in his groundbreaking The Worm Ouroboros and of course pretty much every fantasy writer does when they do not possess the education that Tolkien had in “language and word” to supplement the sub-creation process. We all know the elaborate work he put into the languages he created and the place-names of Middle-Earth.

Before I begin, for those that do not know writer of The Well at the World’s End I want to share a new things. William Morris lived from 1834 to 1896 and besides other things he was a writer. While at a student at Oxford he became very interested in medievalism and enjoyed studying the Classics. Besides the two men attending Oxford, the two writers shared a couple of other interesting facts. Morris just like Tolkien attended King Edward's School in Birmingham and in 1850 he and some friends got together and created The Birmingham Set, a group was largely within the visual arts, where they played a significant role in the birth of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Ok, onward with what I consider fun discoveries. I hope you do too.

In chapter 1 of The Well at the Wells End we meet a fellow named Longtongue, of course I instantly thought of Worm-tongue. Also in the chapter is overhill; underhill anyone? As I’ve already said in the first chapters of this book we read a lot about “going on adventures” No, don’t groan…we are just beginning.
In chapter 4 we find , a tree leafless, …on top of the hill we discover; At the top of it was an earth-work of the ancient folk. One word here, Weathertop. Further on we read two very familiar scenes; Little is to be told of his journey through the downs: as he topped a low hill whereon were seven grave-mounds of the ancient folk in a row and then we soon read of our hero; riding along the Greenway. A character in the story is clad in a coat as green as the way, with the leafless tree done on his breast. If you’ve seen the recent movies it should not be hard for you to conjure a leafless tree on a breast.
In chapter 5 there are two statements which caused me to recall Beorn putting the fellowship up for the night and then later, putting them at ease about there be nothing to fear during the night; “I seek a good hostelry where I may abide the night” and then this; “Fear nothing, lord; there is no foeman in Higham.”
In chapter 6 we read there are worse evils in the forest; “Furthermore there are worse wights in the wood.”
In chapter 7 we get another hint when dangerous trees can be by the very name of a wood, The Wood Perilous. Also in this chapter we come across and interesting sort of people…Easterlings. Another hint of an inspiration; he bethought him of the Even-song of the High House…I loved the Elves singing songs by campfire and what singing in Rivendell meant to all who went there and me too.
In chapter 8 we read this; “Spur! spur, all men!" Therewith he blew one blast from a horn. Now what happens when Rohan sits on the ridge before Minas Tirith?
In chapter 9 we read a wonderful little story that speaks to me about a magical river to be found in The Hobbit; A while he sat musing but awake, though the faint sound of a little stream in the dale below mingled with all the lesser noises of the forest did its best to soothe him to sleep again: and presently had its way with him; for he leaned his head back on the bracken, and in a minute or two was sleeping once more and dreaming some dream made up of masterless memories of past days. Also in this chapter we read; “Nevertheless hold up thine heart, for I think that greater things await thee.” Fate and Doom, past and present are constant companions in Tolkien’s world.
In chapter 10 we read a couple of important things that sound familiar, like the Hobbits once they had left the Shire; Now he hears the sound of horse-hoofs on the hard road, and riseth to his feet and goeth to the very edge of the copse; looking thence he saw a rider who was just come to the very crossing of the roads. The new comer was much muffled in a wide cloak. And later; the Fellowship of the Dry Tree. There is also another reference to adventuring; “I have nought to do save to seek adventures.”
Within chapter 11 were learn of a Forest Lord and we also have someone joining the company; “…and if thou wilt I will walk beside thy rein, which fellowship, as aforesaid, shall be a gain to me.” Though Boromir’s gain was his bane.
The scene in chapter 12 of a guarded hall reminds me of entering Meduseld; one of the guard laid his spear across and bade them stand, and the captain spake in a dry cold voice: “Whence comest thou, man-at-arms?”
In the 13th chapter the hero hears the Queen of the story sing like Aragorn did one night outside Moria; and Ralph stayed to listen in his idle mood, and he heard how she sang. What comes next? We have a storytelling poem. Of course many others used this vehicle, Walter Scott employed it always but the point is, it is also in The Well.
In chapter 14 brings a mysterious scene inside an Inn with something like Aragorn joining the Hobbits and Fate is in the mix; “Not so, young lord; if thou goest I will go with thee, for thou hast won my heart, I know not how: and I would verily be thy servant, to follow thee whithersoever thou goest; for I think that great deeds will come of thee.”
In chapter 15 we have a seen where the hero has slept overnight at an inn and needs to escape without detection. “I am thy fellow-farer, Roger,” said the speaker, “and this thou hast to do, get on thy raiment speedily, and take thy weapons without noise, if thou wouldst not be in the prison of the Burg before sunrise.” And there are those present at the inn they do not trust, like Bell Ferny and his sidekick. “Art thou all so sure of that?” quoth Ralph, “or who are these that be with us? meseems they smell of the Dry Tree.”
In chapter 16 as well as other spots we bump into a now famous word; “hast thou an inkling of the road whereon lies thine errand?"
In chapter 17 we encounter a moment similar to when Aragorn asked Gandalf; “what does your heart say?" which means your heart will tell the truth if Frodo and Sam are still alive…"And thine heart lieth not," Also in this chapter we have one of many references that speak of old constructions still standing around the land; Ralph looking round deemed he had never seen fairer building than in the castle, what he could see of it, and yet it was built from of old. Both Tolkien and Morris were natives of a land where history could be seen everywhere around them.
In chapter 18 we meet a hall that is described in a very similar fashion as that of Theoden’s hall. He laughed gaily and went into the hall with her, and now was it well dight with bankers and dorsars of goodly figured cloth, and on the walls a goodly halling of arras of the Story of Alexander and later; and he entered a door therefrom, which was but on the latch, and went up a little stair into a chamber, which was the goodliest and the richest of all. Its roof was all done with gold and blue from over sea, and its pavement wrought delicately in Alexandrine work. On the dais was a throne of carven ivory, and above it a canopy of baudekin of the goodliest fashion, and there was a foot-carpet before it, wrought with beasts and the hunting of the deer. We hear of a powerful woman; Ralph started as she said the word, but held his peace awhile. Then he said: “And who is lord of this fair land?” “There is no lord, but a lady.”

Now listen to her description; Said Ralph: "Thou meanest, I suppose, that she is fair to look on, and soft-spoken when she is pleased?” “I mean far more than that” said the carle; “surely is she most heavenly fair, and her voice is like the music of heaven: but withal her deeds, and the kindness of her to us poor men and husbandmen, are no worse than should flow forth from that loveliness.” And I think this name says a lot; the “Lady of Abundance." The following passage causes me to remember the safety of the Shire and the danger of the lands beyond the border. “And that land north-away beyond the wildwood, canst thou tell me the tale of its wars, and if it were wasted in the same wars that tormented this land?” The carle shook his head: “As to the land beyond this wood,” quoth he, “I know nought of it, for beyond the wood go we never: nay, most often we go but a little way into it, no further than we can see the glimmer of the open daylight through its trees,—the daylight of the land of Abundance—that is enough for us.” Next we find inside the castle is an important book; Then he went back to the castle and found the carline in the hall, and she had the book with her and gave it to him, and he sat down in the shot-window under the waxlights and fell to reading of it.
In chapter 20, remember when the hobbits were deciding if they could trust Strider or not? nor foul; but fair
In chapter 22 brings a very familiar character “a white horse” That is not just any white horse “Now, lord, I warn thee, draw not a single foot nigher to me; for thou seest that I have Silverfax between my knees, and thou knowest how swift he is, and if I see thee move, he shall spring away with me.”
In chapter 23 we read the Lady (on par with Aragorn) is has the gift of healing "The Leechcraft of the Lady" Also of interest, our heroine dons the guise of man. She smiled on him still more kindly, as if he were a dear friend, and said simply: “I was that lad in the cloak that ye saw in the Flower de Luce.”
The title of chapter 24 is "Supper and Slumber in the Woodland Hall" Sounds a bit like Rivendell to me. And again the Lady in this story; the Lady of Abundance was here for his helping; for from her hands goeth all healing. A little later in the story we don’t have trees talking but instead; “but I was sitting amongst the trees pondering many things, when I began to drowse, and drowsing I heard the thornbushes speaking to me like men.”
Book 2 chapter 2 we discover that silver fax is as intelligent with his master as Shadowfax is with Gandalf. “I said a word in the ear of Silverfax or ever I departed, and now the good beast knows my mind.”
In chapter 6 I was reminded of the difficulty the hobbits faced when in the withywindle and also when Frodo and Sam are trying to progress into Mordor; Not that the way was long, as I found out afterwards, but that we went astray in the woodland, and at last came out of it into a dreadful stony waste which we strove to cross thrice, and thrice were driven back into the greenwood by thirst and hunger. In this instance I’m talking about feeling despair not descriptions.
In chapter 7 we read an echo that called to my mind the manner that the men of Rohan spoke about Galadrial. “And moreover with the wearing of the years those murmurs against me and the blind causeless hatred began to grow again, and chiefly methinks because I was the king, and my lord the king's cloak: but therewith tales concerning me began to spring up, how that I was not only a sorceress, but even one foredoomed from of old and sent by the lords of hell to wreck that fair Land of the Tower and make it unhappy and desolate.”
In chapter 8 I read again of another “land of the tower”
In chapter 15 we find a feature of Gandalf; that old man, the wizard, to whom folk from Swevenham and other places about were used to seek for his lore in hidden matters.
In 21 we have this; The fellowship were as then in such a place, that they were riding a high bare ridge This called to my mind when Saruman had the birds looking for the fellowship in an area where it was difficult to conceal themselves.
chapter 25 has this that hints at the scouring of the shire; and here and there long rows of ugly hovels, or whiles houses, big tall and long, but exceeding foul and ill-favoured, We also find mountains that are as bleak as Mordor; they came amongst the confused hills that lay before the great mountains, which were now often hidden from their sight; but whenever they appeared through the openings of the near hills, they seemed very great and terrible; dark and bare and stoney.;
We have a “fellowship” traveling in chapter 26; Five days the Fellowship abode at Whiteness and also what calls to my mind the lands that Frodo and Sam had to endure to reach the crack of doom. Seven days they rode the mountains, and the way was toilsome and weary enough, for it was naught but a stony maze of the rocks where nothing living dwelt, and nothing grew Interestingly, we also bump into a very simple name that we’ve read before; because they were over strong for the wild men to meddle with them.
In chapter 28 we again read a description of a town that sounds like Minas Tirith; a great white wall girt it all about.
The very obvious appears in 30 with only a minor spelling difference, though it happened to be one the professor would have immensely disliked; under pain of falling into the displeasure of Gandolf.
Again in chapter 31 we find another familiar reference repeated; but taken out of the hands of the wild men from the further mountains
I think this description in chapter 32 well describes the Orcs; “These were big men, and savage-looking, and their armour was utterly uncouth.” And there is a strange sighting that reminds me about a comment made about a glimpse of a Nazgul;
“but this is strange about it, though I have been watching it this half hour, and looking to see the rack come up from that quarter, yet it changes not at all. I never saw the like of this cloud.”
Chapter 34 has a lot of story-telling-poetry
Another description of what sounds very like Mordor appears in 35; and he saw that what he had taken for clouds was a huge wall of mountains, black and terrible,
In 39; a woeful wood it is, Mirkwood is certainly woeful and men don’t trust Fangorn either.
In Book3 chapter 3 we meet a sort of Sauron; “But tell me first, is that Lord of Utterbol as evil as men's fear would make him? for no man is feared so much unless he is deemed evil.” She was silent a while, and then she said: “He is so evil that it might be deemed that he has been brought up out of hell.” The Lord of Utterbol is the main bad-guy in The Well but he pales next to Sauron. We also bump into the makings of a great name for woods, just like in the Norse classic; and sweet it was to Ralph to see her face come clear again from out the mirk of the wood.
In chapter 5 we read about an unusual river-display; …was the roaring of distant waters; and when they went to the lip of the river they saw flocks of foam floating. For me, the reach from flocks to herds is not a long one and near Rivendell we see water foam into horses. Later in this chapter, we bump into two hints of a future Gandalf; …and beside them a man, tall and white bearded, leaning on his staff. and also this; and saw the greybeard at once. We also discover there is an important book in Morris’ story; This book was mine heritage at Swevenham Here I need only remind that the Red-book became the generational responsibly of a certain hobbit family.
Within chapter 7 we read an account we should recognize in a different form and situation; The Sage spake softly but quickly: “Lie down together, ye two, and I shall cast my cloak over you, and look to it that ye stir not from out of it, nor speak one word till I bid you, whate'er may befall: for the riders of Utterbol are upon us.” Here, you should easily recall the scene of Sam and Frodo near the Black Gate.
Again in chapter 9 we read; at the end of the bight and much more important than a curious feature on a world-map, we learn that; Ralph shot a brace of conies just like Sam does before causing the disgust of Gollum. A little further in the reading, I bumped into a line for me that conjured a scene out of the Hobbit; like to clinkers out of some monstrous forge of the earth-giants. Of course Peter Jackson made the bigger statement in his movie, when we see two earth-giants battling in around and with the Bilbo and the Dwarves.
In chapter 10 we meet a new creature in The Well; and wonderful indeed it seemed to them that anything save the eagles could have aught to tell of what lay beyond it. And see a similar idea of a an old place; and on this smooth space was carven in the living rock the image of a warrior in mail and helm of ancient fashion, and holding a sword in his right hand. Helm Hammerhand anyone?
The images in this story are vast and in 16 we find a very important comment that resembles something we have heard from Professor Tolkien; “for so have the Gods given us the gift of death lest we weary of life.”
In chapter 17 we read of bird talk; she held out the other to the said robin who perched on her wrist, and sat there as a hooded falcon had done, and fell to whistling his sweet notes, as if he were a-talking to those new-comers Further on I was blown away by this description of an army of the dead; I can note that this army of dead men has not come all in one day or one year, but in a long, long while, by one and two and three; for hast thou not noted that their raiment and wargear both, is of many fashions, and some much more perished than others and I fear neither the Waste nor the dead men if thou fearest not, beloved: but I lament for these poor souls. Sound like these guys could have used a rescue, say like “the King setting them free.”
In chapter 18 we come across a land feature in mountains that is known to exist in Rohan; when they were but a little way from the brow they saw, over a gap thereof.
In twenty, another important land feature we now know; they could behold a kind of stair cut in the side of the cliff.
Moving on to Book 4 chapter 7 of The Well we meet some words that should carry much meaning to lovers of LoTR; in five minutes' time the Black Riders were fleeing all over the field and then this Forth on they rode, and slept in a wood that night, keeping good watch; but saw no more of the Black Riders for that time.
Within chapter 13 we see a big seed for a grander thought; for now hast thou wedded into the World of living men, and not to a dream of the Land of Fairy. Also, no matter how subtle they may be, sometimes other Treebeard-notions; we have been feeling some stirring of the air about us; even as though matters were changing.
On a general note, I love the feast for future story listed in chapter 16; Meanwhile the carles fell to speech freely with the wayfarers, and told them much concerning their little land, were it hearsay, or stark sooth: such as tales of the wights that dwelt in the wood, wodehouses, and elf-women, and dwarfs, and such like, and how fearful it were to deal with such creatures. This is not small stuff it’s huge inspiration for me…too.
I love everything about “seed-cakes” and we find; with some little deal of cakes baked on the hearth in chapter 17.
Within the 22nd chapter we read a marvelous poem that speaks of a familiar renewal”

The Dry Tree shall be seen
On the green earth, and green
The Well-spring shall arise
For the hope of the wise.
They are one
which were twain,
The Tree bloometh again,
And the Well-spring hath come
From the waste to the home.


Lastly I enjoyed one last feature of the tale that I have gleaned and it is one of the features of Tolkien’s tales that I treasure; it’s that someone else, other than the current story-teller has written much of what we have read; And ever when Ralph thus spoke was a brother of the House sitting with the Prior, which brother was a learned and wise man and very speedy and deft with his pen. Wherefore it has been deemed not unlike that from this monk's writing has come the more part of the tale above told.

We’ve now reached this journey’s end. It is one I made not to take anything away from the best tales of my life but only to add more to the larger tapestry behind the wonderful tales. I hope for creation’s sake, this little effort proves kindling to fire other imaginations and taps the inspirational well for many more adventures.

In closing, Tolkien and Morris were two men cut from the same cloth and this being true, it is very likely that they formed similar inspirational-patterns from the reading of the same previous works. However true that is, Morris came first, and I believe like in all great art, this work became a large stone in the “tower” that Tolkien built for us all to climb and look out to the sea.
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Re: William Morris

Postby Denethor » Wed May 18, 2016 10:03 pm

Haven't got around to reading The Well at the World's End, but I did suffer through News from Nowhere, Morris' socialist utopian novel. It's most interesting in that aforementioned utopia has less in common with conventional Marxism (Morris was a decidedly unconventional Marxist), and more with Tolkien's Shire. Basically, Tolkien and Morris came to the same end point from very different starting points.
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