The House of the Wolfings
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The House of the Wolfings

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The story of how the Wolfings fight, and eventually destroy, the invading Roman legions. Newly designed and typeset in a modern 6-by-9-inch format by Waking Lion Press.
Paperback, 260 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Waking Lion Press (first published 1889)
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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 who took an active role in defending their homes even though it was just the men who went to battle. There were hints of fantasy with dwarfs who hated mankind and people who were not quite human. It was a...more
Lydia Shellenbarger
The story is honestly very straight forward, the Wolfings and the Kindreds of the Mark are defending their homeland from the invading Romans. But then come the human interactions and the wiles of life that add depth and heart to an otherwise straight forward story. Perhaps the most interesting question the story ponders, is could you fight for your kindred knowing you would die, or could you send the one you love the most into battle knowing he would die? And what would you do to prevent it?


Umha leitura longa e complexa, nalgumhas ocasions bocado árida. Tenho que admitir que os cantos épicos no médio da narrativa enajenavam-me muito da história. Porém o livro no seu contexto representa o primeiro agromo da literatura fantástica que daria lugar a peças como o Senhor dos Anéis, e esses traços iniciáticos som claramente visíveis. O texto caminha entre as beiras das sagas mitológicas autênticas e esse começo de literatura fantástica. Também é destacável como essa aridez geral do texto...more
Luke Sineath
Hard to review. I read this because of Morris' massive influence on Tolkien, and while it was ok, his writing, at least in this book, does not come close to Tolkien's greatness. I enjoyed the archaic language, yet his world did not feel persistent nor realised with any great depth. There was but a patina of otherworldliness and faerie, but no abiding substance; and at times the language felt off. Great reading for historical interest in the development of a genre, but not satisfying in itself.
Shala Howell
I picked this up because I read somewhere that Morris inspired Tolkien, invented the Celtic fantasy, etc. etc. Seemed important. Sadly it is written in a faux-epic style that I'm willing to put up with when reading, say, Beowulf, but it remains to be seen whether I can stomach this just for the sake of reading an author reputed to have inspired Tolkien. Right now it seems to me most likely that he inspired Tolkien in the sense that Tolkien read Morris and said, "Hey I can do this MUCH better!"
Giorgos Keramidas
A romantic description of the life of Gothic tribes, and the struggle of the tribe of "Wolfings" along with their kindred Goths, those who live at the "Mark", against the invading Romans. The story of Thiodolf, the leader of the Wolfings, Arch-Duke of the Goth tribes as they mark to war, and his very personal dilemma: use a cursed artifact to save his own life imperiling all the Goths at the same time, or risk death for the promise of victory against the invading legions.
Aaron Meyer
An idealized account of the lives of the Germanic Gothic tribes. It is very engrossing if you can get yourself into the flow of the story, very poetic. I really enjoyed it but I feel that many today would find it rather out of fashion or to romanticly inclined in vision. I would say, though, give it a chance for a few chapters if you are not hooked by then you never will be.
Tabitha Ormiston-Smith
I can't really say much about this book, because I found it very boring and only managed to finish it with the aid of OCD. I could have told the story so much better in a haiku:

Romans invaded
House of Wolfings fought and won
But their War Chief died.

That is literally the whole story.
Ron Gray
The language is thick... too thick... WAY too thick. It's written in Ye Olde Story-Telling style. "Dost thou wouldst wherewithal and thine wain sheep..." yugh.

Anyway, despite all that, it's a good story and worth the trouble if you can stomach it.
Very disappointed. Put it down a third of the way through. The verse bits are just unbearably plodding. You know a book has failed you (or you it, I suppose) when you give up in the middle of a battle scene. *yawn*
I started reading Ivanhoe and was put off by the archaic language. This book is more readable, and directly connected to the modern fantasy genre. It was quite good.
Don Standing
I found this more interesting than enjoyable: the language was beautiful but occassionally too dense for me.
Rick Davis
Fantastic. It's easy to see how Morris inspired Tolkien and Lewis.
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William Morris was an English architect, furniture and textile designer, artist, writer, socialist and Marxist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Morris wrote and published poetry, fiction, and translations of ancient and medieval texts throughout his life. His best-known works include The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems (1858), The Earthl...more
More about William Morris...
The Wood Beyond the World News from Nowhere and Other Writings News from Nowhere The Well at the World's End The Well At The World's End: Volume I

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“Whiles in the early Winter eve
We pass amid the gathering night
Some homestead that we had to leave
Years past; and see its candles bright
Shine in the room beside the door
Where we were merry years agone
But now must never enter more,
As still the dark road drives us on.
E'en so the world of men may turn
At even of some hurried day
And see the ancient glimmer burn
Across the waste that hath no way;
Then with that faint light in its eyes
A while I bid it linger near
And nurse in wavering memories
The bitter-sweet of days that were.”
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