In 1925, J.R.R. Tolkien and E.V. Gordon published a scholarly edition of the Middle English text of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; a second edition of this text was prepared by Norman Davis and published in 1967. The book, featuring a text in Middle English with extensive scholarly notes, is frequently confused with the translation into Modern English that Tolkien prepared, along with translations of Pearl and Sir Orfeo, late in his life. Many editions of the latter work, first published in 1975, shortly after his death, list Tolkien on the cover as author rather than translator.[1] It is therefore common to see Sir Gawain erroneously ascribed to Tolkien as the original author.[2] More recently in 2007, Simon Armitage, a native of the Gawain poet's dialect region, has translated a version which has attracted media attention in the US and the United Kingdom.[3]


  1. White, Michael. Tolkien: A Biography. New American Library, 2003 ISBN 0-451-21242-8.
  2. See for example: Tolkien, J. R. R.. Old Poetry: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by J.R.R. Tolkien. Retrieved on 2007-05-07.
  3. Hirsch, Edward. "A Stranger in Camelot." The New York Times. December 16, 2007. Section 7; p. 1.

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