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Poems of the Pearl Manuscript: Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, and Gawain and the Green Knight

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  3,433 ratings  ·  26 reviews
This edition has been revised to take account of some of the more important textual and interpretative notes and articles published on the poems.
Paperback, 380 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by University of Exeter Press (first published 1400)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Prillwitz
“Sir Gawain” is a narrative poem that tells us a story about chivalry. Sir Gawain is the knight who is tested. On New Year’s Eve a Green Knight comes to Camelot looking to play a game. He asked who the leader of the castle was, because he figured he would be the one to play the game. King Arthur tells the Green Knight he is the leader and the Green Knight tells the King all the rules of the game. The Knights at the Roundtable know they should not let their King play the game so Sir Gawain is the ...more
Brea Mapes
I read the Medieval Romance “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” translated by Marie Borroff. This poem was a test of chivalry for Sir Gawain. The Green Knight proposes for someone to play his game. The rules were that one person is to try and cut the head off of the Green knight, and if they succeed they get to keep the ax. Although if they fail, in 12 months and a day the Green Knight will be able to cut the head off of his opponent. The game took place and someone lost, but in the end there was ...more
I just finished reading this book for my humanities class as part of our Poet unit, and I found it to be difficult to get into at first, although the last two Fitts really made up for it. After finishing the story, I realized that the story isn't simply for entertainment value, but rather as a means of realizing how Sir Gawain was determined to prove himself and thus become less "green". Unlike the other knights, Gawain feels that he needs to prove himself worthy of being a knight, especially si ...more
Des Small
If you only read one chivalric Arthurian romance in alliterative middle-English verse, it should probably be this one.

Middle-English alliterative verse itself noted for (a) randoume spellynge (it is a curiosity that if you spell inconsistently by ear these days you'll get denounced as semiliterate but these medieval monks get a pass for that) and (b) a gazillion synonyms for "bloke" so that you can aliterate on any letter while still talking about a bloke or geezer or chap or fellow or knight o
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Raven Loweframe
Of this collection, I only read Patience and Sir Gawain. 'Patience' was read years ago when I was still a BA student, while 'Sir Gawain' have marked my entire studies in terms of medieval literature. Not a semester without having to read it at least once. Not that I complain.

This edition is a must have for any students - though I am certain your teachers know that already. For anyone else, the spelling may be off-putting, since the original has been kept. Be prepared. (Reading it aloud helps qu
I read these works (and did a presentation on "Pearl") for a university class - a great example of medieval religious poetry and the medieval interpretation of signs and dreams.
Very, very odd choices made in gloss. Inconsistent, and imposes a structure onto the text that does not exist in the manuscript.
Loren Harway
Oct 29, 2008 Loren Harway rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those in need of courtesye
Recommended to Loren by: Generic evil lecturer no.2
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The rating is for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as I haven't (yet) read the others. Sir Gawain is classic, it is rich and strange, full of weird symmetries and magic and winter and chivalry and language that is at once intricately structured and fiercely vital. I somehow have managed to acquire four copies of it––the Tolkien and Borroff translations, this, and the text in my Medieval English Lit textbook.
If you are a Chaucer fan you will be delighted with this little gem. Written anonymously in the 13th or 14th Century, its a tale told many, many times over the years. Sir Gawain is to be tested by a green knight and the entire truth and gallantry of Arthur's knights are tested through him. The giant makes a deal with Sir Gawain and the ensuing wager is one of chivalry on both sides. To tell any more would create spoilers. This translation is easy to understand but also has the Olde English versi ...more
So far I have only read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The alliteration and structure is brilliant. Unfortunately, I am not. At least when it comes to reading Middle English. As much as I love etymology and language, I felt I didn't glean as much of the poem as I could have without being better instructed in the language. Perhaps I can remedy that inconvenience and give it another go in the future. From what I can tell, this work still deserves five stars.
I had to read this book for my Medieval English class at university. I really loved the class, but I have to admit that I struggled reading this particular book. I am quite good at reading Middle English, but for some reason was so caught up in the language of the book, that I was unable to focus on the content. I'd like to attempt it again, though, now that I have a few more Medieval classes under my belt.
This long poem has everything: feasting, gifting, hunting, tournaments, seductions, and a contest where each player subjects themselves to a beheading. What I found most interesting and will explore more is the figure of the Green Knight. My guess, at this point, is that he is related to fertility cycles - why that is connected to the Gawain's response to the green lady is still uncertain to me.
Ess Kay
The dialect of Middle English that the poet writes in feels more visceral than Chaucerian French influenced court English, and lends itself well to the alliterative tradition. Pearl, Cleanness and Patience are all religious based texts, with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the deTroyes tradition. A wonderful treat for people interested in early vernacular writings.
Originally given away in CD format with the fifth edition of the Gawain poems by Malcolm Andrew and Ronald Waldron, but now available in hardcover book format. Designed to be used by students as an aid to translating the original Middle English texts, the translators give a superb and accurate translation of all four poems contained in the Gawain manuscript.
So, we all know the story, right? Ritual beheading - vegetation rites - Arthur and his knights. And we all know how creepy and beautifully-told it is. So I'll just say of the Everyman edition that it's a competent text of British Library MS Cotton Nero A.x. If you ain't read Gawain and Pearl you ain't lived, baby.
some really great middle english poetry. written for the most part in the old alliterative style, so it's a treat on the ears. something about sex and virtue. essentially, don't have sex or you'll get dead. pearl is beautiful; cycles the pearl from the material through the sublime. patience and cleanness i have never read.
Oct 09, 2013 Rebekah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in Arthurian legends or historical fiction
Recommended to Rebekah by: Dr. Crafton @ UWG
So glad that I was introduced to this book in my undergrad years. I even gave it to my now-husband, then fiance to read. These older tales are so much fun to read. I enjoy learning about the culture of the time--morals, values, thoughts on a variety of ideas and ideals.
Although I would have prefered to read the Tolkien version, I thoroughly enjoyed this (minus the hunting scenes, though they do great things for the plot, nonetheless). First book I read in middle english, actually, and it showed me it is not as scary as one may think.
By far the best edition of these poems I've ever come across. Gives the complete Middle English texts of of all four poems with extensive notes, introduction and glossary. Does for the Gawain poet what Frederick Klaeber did for Beowulf.
Kristi Thompson
"Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Pearl, Cleanness, Patience (Everyman's Library (Paper)) (1996)"
I did only read 'Pearl' and 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' for class so far, but I loved them both, and will be reading the other two poems someday soon.
Nov 24, 2012 Highlyeccentric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beginning readers of Middle English
My heart belongs to Tolkien & Gordon; Andrew & Waldron are by far the better edition, but Anderson I would recommend for beginning readers of Middle English.
A quick and VERY easy read
Dan de Sa
This edition of the Pearl Poet's oeuvre is simply excellent because the poetry is preserved in the original language.

Foremost, my favorite of the collection is probably that of most: SGGK. I believe there are a number of reasons which account for this. The first is my 20th/21st century preference for narrative over lyric. This doesn't mean I don't like lyric verse, it is just to say that my mind simply looks for narrative structure when I start reading a piece, and I think this results in my (a
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Critical Essays on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales The Palgrave Literary Dictionary of Chaucer The Complete Works of the "Pearl" Poet Geoffrey Chaucer Three Tales About Marriage (Everyman's Poetry Library) Gawain Poet Annot Bib

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