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William Morris (1834-1896)
William Morris, generally credited with originating the genre of modern heroic fantasy, was a man of many achievements: poet, novelist, artist, designer and printer of fine books. He is best known for his work as a designer of furniture and fabrics and as the author of a number of novels set in almost medieval but imaginary worlds of great beauty. These works of literature have been influential to many fantasy authors, such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkein.
For more information see http://sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/morris_william