Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Michael Smith


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A beautifully-illustrated new edition of the definitive masterpiece of medieval alliterative poetry

It is New Year at Camelot and a mysterious green knight appears at King Arthur’s court. Challenging the knights of the Round Table to a Christmas game, he offers his splendid axe as a prize to whoever is brave enough to behead him with just one strike. The condition is that his challenger must seek him out in a year and a day to have the deed returned. Sir Gawain accepts and decapitates the stranger, only to see him pick up his head, walk out of the hall and ride away on his horse. Now Gawain must complete his part of the bargain, search for his foe and confront what seems his doom… Beautifully illustrated throughout with the illuminated lettering of the original manuscript and the author’s own linocut prints, Michael Smith’s translation of this classic Arthurian romance draws on his intimate knowledge of the North West of England and mediaeval history, culture, and architecture. Smith takes readers back to the original poetic form of the manuscript and brings it alive for a contemporary audience, while revealing the poem’s historic and literary context. This is an exciting new edition that will appeal both to students of the Gawain-poet and the general reader alike.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Michael Smith
Epilogue BCB