Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

by Keith Harrison, Helen Cooper

Series: Oxford World's Classics

'The finest translation in and for our time'(Kevin Crossley-Holland)Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, with its intricate plot of enchantment and betrayal is probably the most skilfully told story in the whole of the English Arthurian cycle. Originating from the north-west midlands of England, it is based on two separate and very ancient Celtic motifs of the Beheading and the Exchange of Winnings, brought together by the anonymous 14th century poet. His telling comprehends a great variety of moods and modes - from the stark realism of the hunt-scenes tothe delicious and dangerous bedroom encounters between Lady Bercilak and Gawain, from moments of pure lyric beauty when he evokes the English countryside in all its seasons, to authorial asides that are full of irony and puckish humour. This new verse translation uses a modern alliterative pattern whichsubtly echoes the music of the original at the same time as it strives for fidelity.ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

  • OUP Oxford; November 1998
  • ISBN: 9780191587450
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Sir Gawain and The Green Knight
  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Author: Keith Harrison (trans.); Helen Cooper (ed.)
  • Imprint: OUP Oxford

In The Press

The Oxford World's Classics edition offers students an excellent introduction to this classic text and also important notes and chronologies.


About The Author

Australian born-poet and translator Keith Harrison taught for 30 years at Carleton College, Minnesota. He has published many books of poetry and translation including Points in a Journey (Macmillan), The Basho Poems (Minneapolis) and A Burning of Applewood (Northfield, Black Willow). Helen Cooper is Professor of English Language and Literature, and Tutorial Fellow at University College, Oxford. She is theeditor of Malory's Le Morte Darthur in Oxford World's Classics.