• Calendar

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: The Boar Hunt

    At this time of year, I always think about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, because the tale opens and closes with references to Christmastide. It also features a boar hunt, the second of three hunts that Sir Gawain’s host at Haut Desart, Sir Bertilak engages in while, back at the castle, Sir Gawain is pursued by the lady of Haut Desart. This image from The Morgan Library’s ms. of Gaston Phoebus’ Le Livre de la chasse/The Book of the Hunt (MS M. 1044 (fol. 64r) shows that the lymerer and his lymer, the huntsman with a dog who flushes the boar into the open, have forced the boar into…

  • Calendar

    Nowel nayted onewe

    60. Wyle Nw Ȝer watz so ȝep þat hit watz nwe cummen, 61. Þat day doubble on þe dece watz þe douþ serued. 62. Fro þe kyng watz cummen wiþ knyȝtes into þe halle, 63. Þe chauntre of þe chapel cheued to an ende, 64. Loude crye watz þer kest of clerkez and oþer, 65. Nowel nayted onewe, neuened ful ofte; 66. And syþen riche forþ runnen to reche hondeselle, 67. Ȝeȝed ȝeres-ȝiftes on hiȝ, ȝelde hem bi hond, 68. Debated busyly aboute þo giftes; 69. Ladies laȝed ful loude, þoȝ þay lost haden, 70. And he þat wan watz not wroþe, þat may ȝe wel trawe. 71. Alle þis…

  • Calendar

    Þis kyng lay at Camylot vpon Krystmasse

    3 37. Þis kyng lay at Camylot vpon Krystmasse 38. Wiþ mony luflych lorde, ledeȝ of þe best, 39. Rekenly of þe Rounde Table alle þo rich breþer, 40. Wiþ rych reuel oryȝt and rechles merþes. 41. Þer tournayed tulkes by tymez ful mony, 42. Justed ful jolile þise gentyle kniȝtes, 43. Syþen kayred to þe court caroles to make. 44. For þer þe fest watz ilyche ful fiften dayes, 45. Wiþ alle þe mete and þe mirþe þat men couþe avyse; 46. Such glaum ande gle glorious to here, 47. Dere dyn vpon day, daunsyng on nyȝtes, 48. Al watz hap vpon heȝe in hallez and chambrez 49. Wiþ…

  • Celtic Myth,  Games Fairies Play

    Medieval Fairies as Other

    MacAllister Stone has been posting a series about the roles of the other in spec fic. I wanted to pick up on two observations MacAllister makes that particularly intrigued me because they deal with the role of fairies as the øther in medieval literature. It’s something I’ve been thinking about quite a lot. First, MacAllister Stone defines Other as a term to describe the phenomenon of the outsider, particularly in fiction, who represents some kind of threat to the community—but often, also serves as the agent for the community’s salvation/redemption. The best example of medieval fairy Other I know of is the c. 1400 Middle English anonymous poem Sir Gawain…

  • Conferences,  Games Fairies Play

    “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Tolkien’s ‘game with rules’,

    I’ve posted my Kalamazoo paper “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Tolkien’s ‘game with rules’,” here, such as it is. There’s a handout, too! Technorati Tags:Gawain, Kalamazoo

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  • Games Fairies Play,  Medieval manuscripts

    Gawain and Gough

    In a 1990 seminar Derek Pearsall made a passing reference to the Gough Map, in a discussion of the journey Gawain makes across the realm of Logres, in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The Gough Map is the oldest surviving road map of Great Britain, dating from around 1360. It’s roughly oblong in shape, made of two pieces of vellem, and is half map and half sketch. Not much is known about its provenance; the map was given to the Bodleian library in 1809 by its owner, Richard Gough. The dating is based on the inks and materials used to make the map, and on the place names. 691.…