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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight [Hardcover]

4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.26
Price: 17.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 May 2010
This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 46 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing (23 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1161452680
  • ISBN-13: 978-1161452686
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 25 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical and human 4 Jan 2006
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Middle English is a diverse collection of different dialects and styles, when it comes to literature. At the same time that Chaucer was writing in the southeast of England, with good command of French and Italian poetic sensibilities, there was a strong tradition in the north and west country of alliterative poetry, the kind that owed as much to the Old English forms of verse and use of language as to the new influences post-Norman Conquest-wise. Among the products of this time and place, the anonymously composed 'Sir Gawain and Green Knight' is one of the most outstanding.
This poem has all the hallmarks of being a work of many influences - it has the heroic aspects that one might expect from Old English epics such as Beowulf; it has a decided romantic streak reminiscent of French and Norman influences; it has virtue and church/Christian overlaying influences that come from Latin and ecclesial sources; it has magical and mystical ideas that are most likely Celtic in origin. Perhaps more like a tapestry, the various strands of influence are woven together into a glorious pattern that stands as a towerig achievement of the synthesis of language that Middle English achieved between its Germanic and Latinate streams.
Gawain's story is a very popular one. The most virtuous of the Round Table knights, his bravery and his resourcefulness at seeking the Green Knight, the annual challenger at the court of Arthur, is legendary. Gawain's small fault (and indeed, Gawain was portrayed as a virtuous human, but human nonetheless) warrants a very small penalty, but he is deemed upon reporting back to Camelot that he has brought honour upon the whole fellowship of knights.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moral testing of the elements of chivalry 8 Jan 2010
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Sir Gawain is a C14th poem written by an unknown contemporary of Chaucer. Unlike Chaucer, who is influenced by Latin, French and Italian literature, this poem recalls the old Norse and Viking sagas although it is set, at least initially, at Camelot.

Combining elements of chivalric epic, romance, and morality tales it tells of Gawain's challenge by the Green Knight, and the moral testing of his knightly valour and virtue.

Vivid, lyrical, funny and moral all at the same time, it had a profound influence on later poets, specifically Spenser in his Faerie Queene.

This Brian Stone translation into modern English is old but still my favourite for anyone not comfortable with the original old English.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dark Middle Ages and all that. 4 Feb 2008
The author of this little masterpiece is unknown. This story - or 'romance' if you like - was found in a little manuscript that was written in c.1380. There are three other stories in that manuscript presumably by the same author.

King Arthur, his wife Guinevere, and the Knights of The Round Table are celebrating Christmas and New Year at the famous castle 'Camelot'. One evening a huge knight on horseback bursts into the Hall during dinner, brandishing a large and fearsome battle-axe. Everything about him is green, not only his armor - as one might expect - but also his face, his hair, and even his horse. He has come in peace as he is advertising more than once. In short he says: who is bold enough to step forward and try to chop my head off with this battle-axe? But after one year and a day it will be my turn to deal a blow. Gawain, one of the Knights of The Round Table, steps forward, takes the axe and beheads the Green Knight. As if nothing happened the Green Knight picks up his head, takes it under his arm and the head says: a year and one day from now it will be my turn to give you a blow. You have to promise that you will come looking for me. You can find me at the Green Chapel ( It's almost a joke but who knows? Maybe this is all just a joke ). If you survive my blow I will give you a great reward. The Knight doesn't want to say where the Green Chapel can be found. It's far away from here but you will find people who can show you the way. And remember, you promised. And so the adventure begins for Gawain. He has to go without a companion. He stands on his own for that was a part of the deal.

This Fantasy element is the only one in the story. Everything else is realistic.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth a read 23 Oct 2003
By A Customer
Having had an english teacher obsessed with medieval literature we all thought we would be forced to plough through Chaucer in old english. We were pleasantly surprised when we were handed a copy of this book. Four years later its still a staple of my holiday reading and has a permanent place on my bookshelf.
The language is beautiful, I enjoy reading passages out loud and the story is a rival to the other Arthurian romances, with a decidedly more sexy damsel and a very very bizarre husband!. I would throroughly recommend it to anyone who enjoys interesting tales and beautiful resonant language
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This blank verse translation of an anonymous 14th century poem is an easy read, with an interesting, surprising twist at the end.The chivalry and seduction aspects are easy to accept in modern terms, while the magic and motivation for the exchange of potentially fatal blows is harder to come to terms with. A most enjoyable read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It fascinates me!
And if you're into medieval literature I should think it'll fascinate you too. It's a good story, so why not try a sample?
Published 3 months ago by Mor Spiller
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Such a winderful tale. Puts today's writers to shame. This is real writing. The book has a hidden meaning. No! I shall not tell you. Read it and find it.
Published 5 months ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
The introduction to this book is wonderful. It does not tell you so much to give the story away but tells you enough so that you can understand the context the epic poem was... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mr. Matthew Sheen
5.0 out of 5 stars Knights in shining armour?
Brilliant retelling of the classic story. Easy to read. A good introduction to the Arthurian legends. A must for all legend lovers.
Published 18 months ago by evelync
3.0 out of 5 stars A Prose-Rendering of the Poem.
This kindle edition of Gawain and the Green Knight is just a prose-rendering of the original poem. Whilst it says it's by 'Anonymous' I think this is by Jessie Weston. Read more
Published 21 months ago by L.Marie
1.0 out of 5 stars Book not printed correctly
Got this book for college course. Although on first impression, it looks fine and in great condition, the book is missing the first pages containing the PUBLICATION DETAILS,... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Late Learner
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure and wonder
The description of this item is wrong in many places. This is the translation by Benedict Flynn and it is stunning. Read more
Published on 4 Feb 2012 by Daniel Griffith
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not best
The book is very interesting. There are a lot of notes that help us to understand everything. Sadly, I do not understand the author's choice to get all the olden letters (yogh,... Read more
Published on 16 Jan 2011 by The Judge
4.0 out of 5 stars A good reading copy
My Gordon/Tolkien edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is nearly a quarter of a century old now, covered with pencil notes and getting a bit brown and dog-eared. Read more
Published on 26 Aug 2010 by E. L. Wisty
5.0 out of 5 stars A good edition
This edition is probably the most useful one I've come across for study. The actual Middle English text is left pretty much untouched, but the facing (prose) translation makes it... Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2007 by an confused future undergraduate
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