The text is accompanied by a detailed introduction, an essay on the metrical form, the translator's note, marginal glosses, and explanatory annotations to assist readers in the study of this canonical Arthurian romance. "Contexts" presents two French tales of Sir Gawain and a passage from the Alliterative Morte Arthure, also translated by Marie Borroff, as well as three selections from the original Middle English poem. "Criticism" collects ten interpretive essays on the poem's central themes. Contributors include Alain Renoir, Marie Borroff, J. A. Burrow, A. Kent Hieatt, W. A. Davenport, Ralph Hanna III, Lynn Staley Johnson, Jonathan Nicholls, Geraldine Heng, and Leo Carruthers. A Chronology of important historical and literary dates and a Selected Bibliography are also included.
Marie Borroff is Sterling Professor of English, Emeritus, at Yale University. Her verse translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was first published in 1967; it appeared together with her translations of Patience and Pearl in 2001. The Gawain-Poet: Complete Works, including her translation of Cleanness and St. Erkenwald, is scheduled for publication in 2010. She is the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A Stylistic and Metrical Study and of Traditions and Renewals: Chaucer, the Gawain-Poet, and Beyond (Yale University Press, 1962, 2003).