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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: with Pearl and Sir Orfeo (Old English) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 4 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Unabridged edition edition (17 April 2006)
  • Language: Old English, English
  • ISBN-10: 0007223617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007223619
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.5 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,039,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘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

From the Inside Flap

SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT, PEARL, and SIR ORFEO are masterpieces of a remote and exotic age--the age of chivalry and wizards, knights and holy quests. Yet it is only in the unique artistry and imagination of J.R.R. Tolken that the language, romance, and power of these great stories comes to life for modern readers, in this masterful and compelling new translation. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had previously spent rather a lot of money on a splendid Folio Society edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, in a translation by Simon Armitage. It is a very fine edition, a beautiful artifact, but the translation is a bit too folksy and demotic. Armitage is a man of his time, and his modern vernacular style jars with ancient poem. The Tolkien version, which I ordered on the recommendation of my friend and colleague Dan Hannan, and which I am reviewing, is as different as chalk from cheese. Physically, it's no more than an ordinary little paperback. But unlike Armitage, Tolkien is by no means a man of his time. He is a man of a very different time, and his glorious language suits the period and the ambience of the poem. It gives a real feeling, a real insight into the mediaeval text. Nothing jars, nothing feels out of place. Toklein's rendering is a triumph and a delight, and while I shall value the Folio edition as an object, I shall prefer the Tolkien as literature.
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Format: Paperback
This is a well balanced and very readable account of three Romances, 'translated' from the Middle English. Although I would have liked to have had the original verses for comparison, that is not the purpose of the book and their absence does not detract from its nature or purpose. I found the glossary of particular interest, and the Appendix illustrating verse forms useful in emphasising the continued use of alliteration, a legacy perhaps from old English verse. Altogether a most satisfying read from the Tolkien stable, and excellent value.
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Format: Paperback
I must clarify that "A Reader" is incorrect in stating that King Orfeo's daughter is kidnapped, rather it was his wife. "Sir Orfeo" is based on the classical myth of Orpheus and Euridice, where the characters are renamed by the anonymous poet as Orfeo and Heurodis. This Breton Lay has a decidedly happier ending than the classic version. This lay is heavily Christianized, but the Celtic elements also present render it a complex and sophisticated poem, difficult to pin down in a single interpretation. "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" is perhaps the best Middle English work, but "Sir Orfeo" is a close second. I am pleased with Tolkein's translation, which is faithful to the Auchinleck Manuscript (as far as I can tell, it doesn't say in my copy of the book which MS it is based on).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was unaware of this titles existence until recently, decided to give it a go. The text isn't to heavy for the lite tolkein fan, and should be a valid addition to your collection.
Product delivered later than expected, hence four stars, but in good condition upon arrival.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really excellent translation from the Middle English. Tolkien's language strikes just the balance between eldritch tone and readability.
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