Five Middle English Arthurian Romances

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The poems in this collection will give the reader an appreciation of both the distinctiveness and the variety of the medieval English Arthurian tradition and highlight some of this important chapter in Arthurian legend literature. The Middle English stories are different in style and structure to the later French romances, composed in poetic forms that derive from native English traditions. The Stanzaic Morte Arthur is the earliest version of the Lancelot-Guinevere story in English; The Awyntas off Arthure at the Terne Wathelyn is a serious moral poem while the story of the Avowing is a tail-rhyme romance. The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell is a strongly folkloric variation of Chaucer's Wife of Bath's Tale and Syre Gawene and the Carle of Carlyle is an alternative version of the testing of Gawain. Originally published in 1991, the translator gives an introduction to each poem as well as a general introduction about the development of the Arthurian poetic tradition.