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The Well At The World's End: Volume II

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  117 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
"I have been more curious about travels from Upmeads to Utterbol than about those recorded in Hakluyt. The Magic in THE WELL AT THE WORLD'S END is that it is an image of the truth. If to love story is to love excitement, then I ought to be the greatest lover of excitement alive!" - C.S. Lewis

Cover Illustration: Gervasio Gallardo
Mass Market Paperback, 242 pages
Published March 1971 by Ballantine Books (first published 1896)
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I kept looking for deeper pattern, deeper symbolism, and deeper meaning, and am left with a confused message. The whole of Volume One was travel through troubled lands, with each city/town/nation beset by some injustice. Ralph avoids entanglement, floating above worldly matters.

Here, the final stages of the journey to the WELL is like a purification quest, through hardship and strange adventure.

But what of afterward? Becoming a Friend of the Well conveys benefits tangible and intangible, and one
Oct 14, 2016 Benjamin rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-sf
Better than the first volume ... The ending would have been even more satisfying if instead of the interruption, it had just slowly built up in one volume. The roles of women are interesting here and there is some kind of servant-leadership thing happening.
Morris's use of Middle English makes this a laborious read but, having read Volume I, I could not abandon young Ralph as he quests to quench his thirst for a soulful life from the Well At The World's End (the Fountain of Youth more like). Some unnecessary lengthy speechifying could have been left out. Although I would call the author's style staid and dry, Ralph's romantic attachment sweetens the plot considerably. P.S. Please also refer to my review of Volume I.
Mar 08, 2013 Grant rated it it was ok
If this thing were assigned in some college lit class, it would have slid uncracked to the bottom of my backpack, lost before I hit the lunch-rush at the cafeteria. Of course, I’d look up a few things. Make a few notes on theme and imagery, regurgitate critical reception. Something to sound smart enough to slough through an essay on the exam.

But this wasn’t for school, wasn’t for something as silly as credit. No, this was for something sacred: This was for Book Club. And the first rule of Book C
I should have added this when I reviewed the first volume. The story continues and it is just as good as the first volume - I find it annoying that these aren't simply combined into one. Anyway, Morris is unique as a fantasy writer (not only because he was one of the first, if not The First), his grasp of archaic language is wonderful and really helps to immerse the reader in a medieval atmosphere. It's almost in the story-telling style of those of King Arthur's knights or Howard Pyle's Robin ...more
Nov 13, 2013 Joseph rated it really liked it
And so from Utterbol across deserts and wastelands we follow Ralph and Ursula to the WELL at the WORLD'S END on the lonely shore of a sullen ocean; and then back again to Upmeads. A long and occasionally arduous journey, but one well worth taking.
Scott Forbes
Jun 29, 2010 Scott Forbes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, owned
Loved it just as much as the first volume!

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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
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