Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo

From Tolkien Gateway
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo
Green Knight, Pearl and Sir Orfeo 1975.jpg
AuthorJ.R.R. Tolkien
EditorChristopher Tolkien
PublisherGeorge Allen and Unwin
ReleasedSeptember 1975
FormatHardcover; paperback; deluxe edition
Pages148
ISBN0048210358

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo is a book collecting J.R.R. Tolkien's translations of three Middle English texts (all written around 14th century):

On the last page is attached a four-stanza text Gawain's Leave-taking, which was translated by Tolkien from two other medieval poems.

The book was published in 1975, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

It also includes commentaries by Tolkien discussing various aspects of the poems.

Contents[edit]

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Pearl
  • Sir Orfeo
  • Glossary
  • Appendix on Verse-forms
  • Gawain's Leave-taking

From the publisher[edit]

This new edition contains the fully-reset text of three medieval English poems, translated by Tolkien for the modern-day reader and containing romance, tragedy, love, sex and honour. It features a beautifully decorated text and includes as a bonus the complete version 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 with the complete text of Tolkien’s acclaimed 1953 W.P. Ker Memorial Lecture that he delivered on Sir Gawain.

Publication history and gallery[edit]

In 2020, a deluxe slipcased edition was published by HarperCollins. This edition includes: the complete text of Tolkien's lecture on Sir Gawain, a facsimile of the first three verses of the manuscript Gawain's Leave-taking, and a facsimile of the fourth verse of it.

UK Editions
1975 hardcover  
1979 paperback  
1979 paperback 10th impression  
1995 paperback  
2006 paperback  
2020 hardcover deluxe edition  
2021 paperback  

See also[edit]


A J.R.R. Tolkien book guide
Books by Tolkien or based on his writings
Of Arda Authorized by
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
(i.The Fellowship of the Ring · ii.The Two Towers · iii.The Return of the King) ·
The Road Goes Ever On · Bilbo's Last Song
Edited by Christopher Tolkien The Silmarillion · Unfinished Tales · The History of Middle-earth series
(i.The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii.The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii.The Lays of Beleriand ·
iv.The Shaping of Middle-earth · v.The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi.The Return of the Shadow ·
vii.The Treason of Isengard · viii.The War of the Ring · ix.Sauron Defeated · x.Morgoth's Ring ·
xi.The War of the Jewels · xii.The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index) ·
The Children of Húrin · Beren and Lúthien · The Fall of Gondolin
Edited by others The Annotated Hobbit · The History of The Hobbit · The Nature of Middle-earth · The Fall of Númenor
Not of Arda Short stories
and poems
Leaf by Niggle · Farmer Giles of Ham · Smith of Wootton Major · The Adventures of Tom Bombadil ·
Letters from Father Christmas · Mr. Bliss · Roverandom ·
Tree and Leaf (compilation) · Tales from the Perilous Realm (compilation)
Fictions The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún · The Fall of Arthur · The Story of Kullervo · The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Translations and academic works Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo · Finn and Hengest: The Fragment and the Episode ·
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary · The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays ·
Tolkien On Fairy-stories · A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages
Other The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Books by other authors
Reference book The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
Scholarly books containing Tolkien's writings J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography · The Inklings · The Road to Middle-earth ·
A Question of Time · Tolkien and the Great War ·
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion · The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
Scholarly journal containing Tolkien's writings Tolkien Studies various issues
Other published works by Tolkien
Linguistic journals Vinyar Tengwar issues 1-50 · Parma Eldalamberon issues 1-22
Collections of artwork
and manuscripts
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien · Tolkien: Life and Legend · J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator ·
The Art of The Hobbit · The Art of The Lord of the Rings · Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth ·
Tolkien: Treasures · J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript
This list only includes the major published works, for the full bibliography of Tolkien, see here or here