The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript

BookThe Poems of the Pearl Manuscript

The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript

Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies


December 18th, 2007



Other Formats



For students of Middle English, Andrew and Waldron’s The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript has been the key edition of the four Pearl poems (the best-known of which is Gawain and the Green Knight) for 30 years. Now, with the changing needs of today’s student in mind, the editors have undertaken the most comprehensive revision of the book since its inception.The revised edition includes a new introduction providing historical, literary and cultural contexts for the poems. It also incorporates a revised and updated bibliography, minor changes to the text and glossary, and significant revision and updating of the explanatory notes. In addition the authors have provided for the first time a complete prose translation of the four poems for students to use as a working tool. Access to a digital copy of this translation, conceived as a complement and companion to the new edition, is included with this book.

Malcolm Andrew and Ronald Waldron have fully revised their standard edition of the four poems of the Pearl-poet. The translation, along with the updated and extended critical and explanatory material, will render the new edition an extremely valuable resource for students at all levels.
C.J.S, Medium Aevum Vol LXXVII

I recommend to readers this revision of an edition that several generations of students and teachers have preceded me in endorsing. In a book of manageable size, the editors have succeeded in reconciling reliable scholarship with modern accessibility, and in balancing attention to individual poems with encouragement to explore the Gawain-corpus as a whole. Their edition provides a setting that can only deepen twenty-first-century appreciation for these luminous Middle English poems.

Parergon – s, volume 26.1

The fifth edition, overall, is a tremendous achievement, and secures Andrew and Waldon as the authoritative critical text and student edition of these poems.

The Year’s Work in English Studies, vol. 88, no. 1

The Poet has a talent for turns of phrase evoking beauty, splendor and grace...this modern translation of the Pearl Poet is quite valuable as a scholarly resource.

Susan Brooks, Comitatus

Author Information

Malcolm Andrew was previously Professor of English Language and Literature at Queen's University Belfast. Ronald Waldron was previously a lecturer and Emeritus Reader in English Language and Medieval Literature at King's College, University of London.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page4
Copyright Page5
1. The Manuscript12
2. Authorship16
3. Pearl23
4. Cleanness27
5. Patience30
6. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight32
7. The Four Poems36
Select Bibliography38
Note on Language and Metre54
Text and Explanatory Notes60
Note to the Text62
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight218
Appendix: Passages from the Vulgate374