One of the first examples of modern fantasy literature, this novel takes place in a vividly imagined archaic world. A groundbreaking fantasy novel, "The Wood Beyond the World" tells the story of a young man, Golden Walter, who finds himself in a strange and frightening world after being abandoned by his wife and lost at sea. The novel takes the form of Walter's quest for the visionary Maid that he sees at the beginning of his journey, and takes him from his failed marriage through temptation to emotional fulfillment. Set in Morris's imaginative recreation of a medieval world, the novel is full of painterly imagery and surprising emotional realism. This edition collates for the first time the three early texts of the work. The introduction discusses the place of the book among Morris's other prose romances, the events of his life, and his activities as a visual artist and a socialist. The appendices provide excerpts from Morris' translation of "Beowulf", other medieval texts read by Morris, and writings by his contemporaries on politics and aesthetics.