A Study of Gawain and the Green Knight

A Study of Gawain and the Green Knight

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A Study of Gawain and the Green Knight

A Study of Gawain and the Green Knight

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Thirteen years ago this volume was announced, in a footnote to Arthur and Gorlagon, as something that the writer hoped to publish in a few months. It was then practically finished, but procrastination has deferred its appearance beyond all accounting. However, the world has somehow got along without it, and meantime the manuscript has undergone revision from year to year, and has submitted to a final overhauling at the last moment, with the printer at the door.

Such as it is, the book has two objects — to trace the history of a great romance, and to illustrate certain topics in folk-lore and mediaeval literature. Accordingly it is divided into two parts. The first eschews footnotes; the second accumulates them without scruple. Those friendly readers, therefore, who find such things distasteful may profitably leave the volume unopened, or close it at the hundred and forty-third page.

The author does not play bridge, — and it is impossible to swim or to sail a boat in a New England winter. Let this suffice as an answer to anybody who thinks that he has wasted his time. At all events, it is his own time that he has spent — and suum cuique is a venerable precept.

Acknowledgment is due to a number of friends and colleagues for out-of-the-way facts or useful criticism. Several precious references to oracular heads come from the learning of Professor George F. Moore, and in Celtic matters Professor Robinson has given invaluable help at every turn.

CAMBRIDGE, February II, 1916.

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