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These new modern-English versions of medieval romances with magical themes bring the stories to life for modern readers. This book translates in modern English nine lively medieval verse romances, in a form that both reflects the original and makes them inviting to a modern audience. All nine tales contain elements of magic: shapeshifters, powerful fairies, trees that are portals to another world, magical armor, clothing, and animals. The romances address sexuality, agency, and identity-formation in unexpected ways. Part I begins with two versions of the story of a 'Loathly Lady' or shapeshifting hag that transforms into a beautiful woman: John Gower's ""Tale of Florent"" and Geoffrey Chaucer's ""Wife of Bath's Tale"". Three tales of fairy abductions follow: ""Thomas of Erceldoune"", ""The Ballad of Tam Lin"", and ""Sir Orfeo"". The final story in this group is Sir Launfal, about a destitute knight adopted by a fairy mistress. Part II contains four romances: ""Chaucer's parodic Sir Thopas"", in which the knight seeks a fairy mistress and arms to fight her guardian; ""Sir Gowther"", a tale that begins with a demonic birth and fairy abduction; ""Emare"", a Castaway Queen romance about a lady clothed in a magical love-cloth made by a Saracen princess; and, ""Floris and Blancheflour"", in which the girl Blancheflour is sold into Saracen slavery and her beloved Floris goes to rescue her.
Marijane Osborn is Professor of English at the University of California, Davis.