Web Resources for Pearl-poet Study: A Vetted Selection

This page is an ongoing effort to list all resources of scholarly quality and importance that are accessible through the World Wide Web and to describe and briefly comment on them. Our initial search for such resources is still in progress; however, we here present the results so far.

This page will serve as a vetting mechanism for texts, commentaries, Web pages, and scholarly articles and books published on the World Wide Web. Resources listed as "accepted" have been approved by the team as being of scholarly quality and importance, though levels of quality of resources that have passed that threshold will of course vary. Resources listed as "under consideration" are being reviewed for possible acceptance having passed a first general assessment; such listing is no guarantee that they will added to the page as "accepted" on conclusion of the review. Many resources--they do not appear here as links--have been rejected; the reader in search of non-scholarly materials would be well advised to consult the Luminarium Sir Gawain site listed below, which besides its scholarly links is a portal to such resources as student projects of various levels, resources with unsubstantial or misleading content, articles we have rejected.

If you know of (or are the author of) scholarly resources, such as texts, analogues, commentary, scholarly articles, etc., that are published openly on the Web and that are not listed here, please draw them to our attention by e-mailing the information to Murray McGillivray.

Texts of Pearl

Pearl at University of Michigan Electronic Text Center ("Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse")

[Accepted] This link is for the text of Pearl.  The text originated with a transcription of the E.V. Gordon edition (Pearl ed. E.V. Gordon [Oxford: Clarendon, 1953]) that was made available in 1993 as an SGML file through the Oxford Text Archive (OTA number: U-1686-A) for individual scholarly use (previous OTA history not well documented in file, although SGML tagging was added in 1990 or 1991 by John Price-Wilkin of the University of Michigan to a previously-existing OTA file originally created by Lou Burnard (OTA number: A*-581-A). The University of Michigan and University of Virginia versions of the text are presented on the Web through HTML conversion interfaces: the current OTA version and the underlying files at Michigan and Virginia are in TEI-conformant SGML. The Michigan and Virginia versions are substantially identical, although small changes documented in revision descriptions have been made to both files creating divergence after 1994 revisions. The preface, table of contents, abbreviations list, introduction, bibliography, notes and appendixes found in the print edition are not included in this text. The Gordon edition is a standard reference edition, and this electronic text is very trustworthy.

Text of Cleanness

Cleanness in University of Toronto English Library/ Representative Poetry

[Accepted] This text of Cleanness was transcribed, apparently from the manuscript facsimile, by Gary Shawver. Emendations to manuscript readings are enclosed in square brackets. The text was first published on the CD-ROM accompanying Using TACT and Electronic Texts: Text-Analysis Computing Tools Vers. 2.1 for MS-DOS and PC DOS, by I. Lancashire, in collaboration with J. Bradley, W. McCarty, M. Stairs, and T. R. Wooldridge (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1996), and first included online as part of Ian Lancashire's Representative Poetry On-line in 1998.

Text of Patience

Patience in University of Toronto English Library/ Representative Poetry

[Accepted] This text of Patience was transcribed, apparently from the manuscript facsimile, by Gary Shawver. It was first published on the CD-ROM accompanying Using TACT and Electronic Texts: Text-Analysis Computing Tools Vers. 2.1 for MS-DOS and PC DOS, by I. Lancashire, in collaboration with J. Bradley, W. McCarty, M. Stairs, and T. R. Wooldridge (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1996), and first included online as part of Ian Lancashire's Representative Poetry On-line in 1998.

Texts of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Gawain at University of Michigan Electronic Text Center ("Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse")

[Accepted] This link is a text of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The texts is derived from an Oxford Text Archive file (U*-62-A). The first digital transcription of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight for OTA was by J.A. Law at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. SGML tagging was added in 1990 or 1991 by John Price-Wilkin of the University of Michigan. As in the case of the Pearl text, subsequent tagging and alteration of the file happened at the University of Virginia until 1994; the University of Michigan and University of Virginia files have subsequently been revised independently. Like those of Pearl, these texts are presented through an HTML-conversion interface. The text was taken from J.R.R. Tolkien and E.V. Gordon, eds., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, 2nd. ed. revised by Norman Davis (Oxford: Clarendon, 1967). The printed text contained illustrations which are not included in the electronic text, nor are notes, bibliography, appendices, list of abbreviations, glossary, introduction, or prefaces included. The Tolkien-Gordon text as revised by Davis (from the 1925 first edition) is a standard reference edition, and this electronic text is very trustworthy.

Gawain in University of Toronto English Library/ Representative Poetry (text and translation)

[Accepted] The text is from Karen Arthur, ed., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, originally published on the CD-ROM accompanying Using TACT and Electronic Texts: Text-Analysis Computing Tools Vers. 2.1 for MS-DOS and PC DOS, by I. Lancashire, in collaboration with J. Bradley, W. McCarty, M. Stairs, and T. R. Wooldridge (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1996). The translation added in this online publication to the text and presented in alternation with the stanzas of the Middle English text, is from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Rendered Literally into Modern English from the Alliterative Romance-Poem of A.D. 1360, from Cotton MS. Nero A x in British Museum, trans. Ernest J. B. Kirtlan (London: Charles H. Kelly, 1912). The University of Toronto English Library is a multi-author, multi-period collection of poetry and other literary works in English, encoded in a special-purpose SGML encoding and presented through an HTML conversion, and includes Ian Lancashire's Representative Poetry, from which this text is taken. The file ends with Arthur's collation of her transcription with the readings in several major editions, though the HTML conversion makes the collation more difficult to use than it might have been. This is a scholarly text and results from a painstaking transcription of the manuscript; as presented here interleaved with a slightly antiquated translation (chosen, no doubt, primarily on the basis of its copyright status) it is not at its best, but could still prove a valuable resource for scholarship.

Translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

1898/1900 translation by Jessie L. Weston

[Accepted] This text is provided by the University of Rochester Camelot Project, a digitalization project under the direction of Alan Lupack, curator of the Robbins Library. The Camelot Project site provides various Arthurian texts in electronic form and also bibliographies (the latter in collaboration with the journal Arthuriana). The prose translation by Jessie L. Weston is taken from the second edition (1900) of the 1898 translation (Andrew # 116: Weston, Jessie L., tr. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A Middle English Arthurian Romance Retold in Modern Prose, Arthurian Romances Unrepresented in Malory's Morte d'Arthur 1 (London: Nott, 1898; 2nd. ed. 1900). The translation's chief virtue may well be that it is out of copyright, but Weston was one of the most prominent romance scholars of her day and her work here is at least satisfactory in giving the outline and much of the detail of the Middle English text.

Web-published translation by Paul Deane.

[Under consideration] Ongoing translation project currently available only to line 1125. Part of the translator's site on alliterative poetry of various periods and kinds, Forgotten Ground Regained: A Treasury of Alliterative and Accentual Poetry. The translator's "intention is to produce a faithful translation of both the form AND the content of the original. The poem's 14th Century English is close enough to modern English in syntax and vocabulary, that it is often possible to salvage large bits of his original poetry with only minor modifications. But only sometimes. Much of the time, the original vocabulary has gone the way of the dodo, and the translator must find other words and phrasings that will carry the same sense as the original."

Web Sites devoted to the Pearl Poet

Luminarium Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Site

[Accepted] Luminarium, a site run by Anniina Jokinen, was started in 1996 to provide students with links to study materials on the Web for frequently-studied texts in medieval and Renaissance literature. The Sir Gawain corner of the site provides an introduction to the poem by Mary-Jo Arn and is a link-farm to a wide variety of materials on the Web related to the poem. Although there is no attempt made to exclude non-scholarly materials, and the general atmosphere is one of eclectic acceptance, the site does distinguish between, for example, "essays" and "student essays." A well-researched, frequently-updated, but uncommented guide to "what's out there" on the Web on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

 Roger Hartill's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Webpage

[Under consideration] Hosted by the British re-enactors' page livinghistory.co.uk, this site promises to contain "all that I could find on the Internet that seemed to be relevant to a serious study of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. I have excluded details of: Academic Syllabi; Students' Short Essays; Chat Line; The Opera; The Movie." Nevertheless, this site is also quite eclectic and inclusive, containing, for example, links to the curriculum vitae of scholars who have published on the poem. And it does link to some student essays. The large categories that organize the site, such as "bibliography," "readings," "misc," "Websites," do not seem to be mutually exclusive and it is hard to find your way around as a result. Many links were dead when we checked the site. Contains a complete, partially modernized Middle English text of the poem, with difficult words glossed in a frame at the bottom of the screen (words in text that are glossed are clickable).

Scholarly Articles and Book

Arthur, Karen. "The Game of Reading an Electronic Sir Gawain and the Green Knight". [Proceedings of] The Electric Scriptorium: Approaches to the Electronic Imaging, Transcription, Editing and Analysis of Medieval Manuscript Texts, A Physical and Virtual Conference.

[Accepted] Online publication of article subsequently published in Exemplaria.

Berger, Sidney E."Gawain's Departure from the Peregrinatio." Essays in Medieval Studies 2 (1985): 86 - 106.

[Accepted] Online version of previously print-published refereed article. Electronic version includes pagination of print-form publication; first page of electronic version is mispaginated as 27 (rather than 86).

Hamilton, Ruth E."The Power of Words and the Power of Narratives: Cleanness." Essays in Medieval Studies 3 (1986): 162 - 173.

[Accepted] Online version of previously print-published refereed article. Electronic version includes pagination of print-form publication.

Hoffman, Elizabeth A. "A Re-Hearing of 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'." Essays in Medieval Studies 2 (1985): 66 - 85.

[Accepted] Online version of previously print-published refereed article. Electronic version includes pagination of print-form publication; an illustration that is in the print version is omitted in the online version.

Kline, Daniel T. "The Pearl, a Crayon, and a Lego." Essays in Medieval Studies 15 (1998): 119 - 122.

[Accepted] Online version of previously print-published refereed article. Electronic version includes pagination of print-form publication.

Shoaf, R. Allen. The Poem as Green Girdle: Commercium in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

[Accepted] A post-print publication (1999) of 1984 University Press of Florida book. Online version marks page transitions of print-form publication.

Shoaf, R. Allen. "The "Syngne of Surfet" and the Surfeit of Signs in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight."

[Accepted] On-line publication of essay previously published in The Passing of Arthur: New Essays in Arthurian Tradition, ed. Christopher Baswell and William Sharpe (New York: Garland, 1988), pp. 152-69. Electronic version includes pagination of print-form publication.