Looking Westward: Poetry, Landscape, and Politics in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

by Ordelle G. Hill


Hardback • 2009 • $70.00
ISBN: 978-1611491111

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In Looking Westward, the author argues that a close study of the poetry, landscape, and politics of late thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Wales and the Welsh March is important to a fuller understanding of the Gawain -poet and his poem. Although the poem was likely composed in the northwest Midlands, little attention has been paid to the influences of the west: the Welsh alliterative poets and Henry Grosmont, the physical landscape of Wales and the March, and the political tensions that generated a historical beheading tradition, especially between 1265 and 1330, a tradition that gave way in the court of Edward III to the desire for a harmonious Camelot. This new literary, geographical, and historical perspective provides a better understanding of Sir Gawain and the virtues he embodies and acquires, and the relevance of these virtues in the turbulence of the poet’s contemporary world.

About the Author
Ordelle G. Hill is Professor Emeritus from Eastern Kentucky University.