The Works of the Gawain-Poet

By Charles Moorman

478 pp

Paper $35.00T

Paper, $35.00


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This edition of the complete Works of Cotton Nero A.x.---Patience, Purity, Pearl, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight---is the first collected edition since the manuscript itself. Charles Moorman's hope is that this work will facilitate studies of the whole Gawain-Poet, in addition to those of his individual works. In addition, this edition should provide a basis for comparative study and aid in an evaluation of the poet's development.

Designed for the professional scholar, the student, and the general reader with no training in Middle English, this edition brings together the tools for both introductory and advanced study. Moorman has tried to make the text as readable, the notes as succinct and informative, and the glossary as useful as possible. The new reader will find before him everything necessary for a convenient first reading, and the scholar will see and appreciate the results of generations of scholarship.

These four poems---two dramatic biblical narratives, an elegy, and a chivalric romance---are, next to the works of Chaucer, the finest poems of the fourteenth century, an age abounding in great literature. Their variety, their rich imagery, their depth of mood and feeling, and particularly their sensitive responsiveness to the moral dilemmas of human life make these poems an endless, if not wholly translatable, source of both despair and comfort. The Works of the Gawain-Poet presents a number of distinctive features: a conservatively edited text; the original manuscript illustrations; apparatus, glosses, and notes on the page with the text; and a full introduction and bibliography. The book should prove useful both as a reading and reference edition and as a graduate text.

Charles Moorman (1925-1996), a member of the English faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi from 1954 to 1990, served as chair of the department and later as vice president of Academic Affairs for the university. He was a renowned authority on the work of Geoffrey Chaucer.

478 pp