William Morris had been fascinated by medieval illuminated manuscripts since childhood, and as a student at Oxford had studied the manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, and later at the British Museum. Between 1870 and 1895 he produced some twenty books which he wrote out and decorated himself. 'The Story of the Dwellers at Eyr' is his translation of the Eyrbtggja Saga, the first of the Norse sagas he had read with the Icelandic scholar Eirikr Magnusson. The Bodleian Library own an earlier Morris manuscript of the same story.

  • Bequeathed by Lady Burne-Jones, 1920
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist William Morris -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
I translated this book out of Icelandic with/ the help of my master in that tongue,/ Eirikr Magnusson, sometime of Heydabr/ in the East Firths of Iceland: it was the/ first Icelandic book I read with him./ I wrote it all out myself, and did / all the ornament throughout the book/ myself except the laying of the gold/ leaf on pp. 1, 230, and 239. which was/ done by a man called Wilday, a work-/ man of ours./ William Morris/ 26 Queen Square/ Bloomsbury/ London/ April 19th 1871(back page)
Notes - Handwritten - Ink


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
William Morris Centenary Exhibition
235 Victoria and Albert Museum, London 1934 - 1934
William Morris Revisited
- Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester 1996-01-26 - 1996-04-07
- Crafts Council 1996-05-02 - 1996-06-30
- Birmingham Museum & Art Galleryv 1996-10-26 - 1997-02-02
The Pre-Raphaelites
199 Nationalmuseum, Stockholm 2009-02-26 - 2009-05-24


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
William Morris: His Art, his Writings and his Public Life
Aymer Vallance 1897 - p.136
- - 22
The Pre-Raphaelites
- Nationalmuseum, Stockholm cat.199, p.231; fig.115

Associated people

Name Type
Eirikr Magnusson Author

Related work & resources

Discuss this work

Start a discussion about this work.

You need to login to discuss this work. Click here to login.

If you are not yet registered click here to become a member.
Find out more about membership