Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Paperback

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Paperback

Edited by Bernard O'Donoghue

3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Composed during the fourteenth century in the English Midlands, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" describes the events that follow when a mysterious green-coloured knight rides into King Arthur's Camelot in deep mid-winter.

The mighty knight presents a challenge to the court: he will allow himself to be struck by one blow, on the condition that he will be allowed to return the strike on the following New Year's Eve.

Sir Gawain takes up the challenge, decapitating the stranger - only to see the Green Knight seize up his own severed head and ride away, leaving Gawain to seek him out and honour their pact.

Blending Celtic myth and Christian faith, "Gawain" is among the greatest Middle English poems: a tale of magic, chivalry and seduction.




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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I enjoyed how this book was a poem, it was in verse but when you read it you don't get caught up in the rhyme and rhythm. When i was reading this book, because its told in third- person form, and i imagined the author was some sort of philosopher because there are times where there are parts that sound like something you would find in a quote book, and it is very descriptive and well worded. though in the middle of the book, it was a little hard for me to follow what was going on. The only way I understood what I was reading was when I read out loud. This story itself is great though. It has good moral values, but it has (just a little bit) goriness.

Review by

Donoghue's translation is not my favourite. It doesn't trip off the tongue in the way Armitage's does, and just reading the first stanza made me think that it was going to be a bit of a chore. It's a competent enough translation, in terms of keeping the meaning, but I didn't love it like I did Armitage's. The introduction is short but informative. The appendix, with a bit of the original Middle English, could stand to be longer.