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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: with Pearl and Sir Orfeo

Author: Translated by J. R. R. Tolkien
Format: Other Format
Publication Date: 30/04/2020
Pages: 176
ISBN: 978-0-00-839362-5
Detailed Edition: Deluxe Slipcased edition

This elegant deluxe slipcased edition of three medieval English poems, translated by Tolkien for the modern-day reader and containing romance, tragedy, love, sex and honour, features a beautifully decorated text and includes as a bonus the complete text of Tolkien’s acclaimed lecture on Sir Gawain.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Pearl are two poems by an unknown author written in about 1400. Sir Gawain is a romance, a fairy-tale for adults, full of life and colour; but it is also much more than this, being at the same time a powerful moral tale which examines religious and social values.

Pearl is apparently an elegy on the death of a child, a poem pervaded with a sense of great personal loss: but, like Gawain it is also a sophisticated and moving debate on much less tangible matters.

Sir Orfeo is a slighter romance, belonging to an earlier and different tradition. It was a special favourite of Tolkien’s.

The three translations represent the complete rhyme and alliterative schemes of the originals, and are uniquely accompanied in this special deluxe slipcased edition with the complete text of Tolkien’s acclaimed 1953 W.P. Ker Memorial Lecture that he delivered on Sir Gawain.

  • ‘The introduction to Gawain is a little masterpiece.’Times Higher Educational Supplement
  • ‘This magnificent Arthurian tale of love, sex, honour, social tact, personal integrity and folk-magic is one of the greatest and most approachable narrative poems in the language. Tolkien’s version makes it come triumphantly alive, a moving and consoling elegy.’Birmingham Post