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William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was an English artist and author, who wrote and published poetry, fiction, and translations of ancient and medieval texts throughout his life. J.R.R. Tolkien was influenced by both the artistic and literary work of Morris.
Scholars have also deduced influences from several others of Morris's works: The Earthly Paradise (for The Book of Lost Tales), The Roots of the Mountains (for Gollum), The Wood beyond the World (for Lothlórien and Fangorn), and his translation of The Saga of Gunnlaug the Worm-tongue (for Gríma Wormtongue).
In several illustrations, Tolkien was clearly inspired by the decorative style found in the Arts and Crafts Movement (of which Morris was the central figure and one of the founders) and the related Art Nouveau. The design philosophy of Morris was to re-introduce traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often medieval, romantic or folk styles of decoration (in reaction to early to the early modern industrial design), a theme which can be seen in some of Tolkien's illustrations from the late 1920s, some of his paintings for The Hobbit, and the ornamental patterns drawn in later years.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Reader's Guide, "Morris, William", pp. 598-604
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Tom Shippey, "Introduction", in The Wood beyond the World (Oxford, 1980)
- ↑ Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (HarperCollinsPublishers 2008), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 400
- ↑ Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (HarperCollins, 2004), J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist & Illustrator, pp. 9-10