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The House of the Wolfings

William Morris

Book Overview: 

The House of the Wolfings tells the story of how Thiodolf and his clan - the Wolfings - fight and vanquish the Roman invaders. Thiodolf is protected by a dwarfish coat of mail, given to him by his lover Wood Sun, herself one of the Vala, the immortals. But things are not what they seem and what is meant to protect him, is also a curse.

For fans of Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The Wolfings were the tallest and the biggest made; but of those dark-haired men aforesaid, were there fewest amongst the Beamings, and most among the Elkings, as though they had drawn to them more men of alien blood during their wanderings aforesaid.  So they talked together and made each other good cheer, as is the wont of companions in arms on the eve of battle; and the talk ran, as may be deemed, on that journey and what was likely to come of it: and spake an Elking warrior to a Wolfing by whom he rode:

“O Wolfkettle, hath the Hall-Sun had any foresight of the day of battle?”

“Nay,” said the other, “when she lighted the farewell candle, she bade us come back again, and spoke of the day of our return; but that methinks, as thou and I would talk of it, thinking what would be likely to befal.  Since we are a great host of valiant men, and these Welshmen {2} most valiant, and as the rumour runneth bigger-bodied men th. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This an interesting book on many levels. It is a translation of a Norse saga by a (relatively) modern fantasy writer, and the book influenced or inspired some of the great fantasy writers, especially Tolkien. The vocabulary that is used throughout is archaic (words such as kine, carle, carline, t...more

The prose-poetry of Morris describing a society of warriors where there was supposed to be no war. Is it an idyllic viking land? But references to Goths and the Terror of Nations make us sympathize with the former, as they fight fiercely. What is upon the Dward-wrought hauberk bestowed to Thiodol...more

This is a (relatively) modern epic, written at least a century ago, but not in the Dark Ages. I am fond of JRR Tolkien’s books and I read that he was influenced by “The House of the Wolfings”. I could see many of the influences, especially the elevated language and many specific terms found in Lo...more

7/10

Publicado por primera vez en 1890 William Morris compuso en esta obra una epopeya épica de ficción histórica, entremezclando en su escritura prosa y verso, que versa sobre el enfrentamiento de ciertas tribus «godas» germánicas contra la ocupación romana. Precursora, e influencia, de la fantas...more

"The tale tells that in times long past there was a dwelling of men beside a great wood. Before it lay a plain, not very great, but which was, as it were, an isle in the sea of woodland, since even when you stood on the flat ground, you could see trees everywhere in the offing, though as for hill...more

Ya know how documents, museum exhibits, and nonfiction books occasionally frame their expository information in the form of narratives? For instance, a museum exhibit featuring cavemen might trace the life of a child through sequential displays, or a documentary might name an animal and follow it...more

The first 'fantasy' novel of Morris - and thus, maybe the first fantasy novel ever written, as he really invented the genre. Developed out of his work translating Norse and German medieval epic poems, it tells the story of the Goth tribe who inhabit an area called Mark in the forest of Mirkwood....more

This is a moving tale about the Goths fighting off a Roman invasion. There was prophecy and doomed romance and heroic acts of self sacrifice. The characterisation was a little light, but I still felt for everyone at the end. There were strong women characters who were full of wisdom and spirit wh...more

Like many others I read this book after learning it was one of the works that influenced Tolkien. And, the influence can clearly be seen.

One obvious connection is that Morris' forest is Mirkwood. I found it interesting that Morris actually uses the term mid-earth once. And, three of four of Morri...more

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