18 Derby St
Leek ST13 5AB
Stratford without Shakespeare? Canterbury without Chaucer? Leek without the Gawain poet? Let Gawain expert and storyteller, Clive Foden explore the history and local links of this world famous piece of literature
Who’s he then? All he’s left us, and it is almost certainly a he, are four poems written in Middle English in an alliterative style that was somewhat out of fashion even as he was writing them around 1390. He was a man well versed in theology, architecture, hunting, armour, courtly love and above all, what it means to be a human being.
For over fifty years dialect experts have narrowed down the dialect of the Gawain poet to the Cheshire/Staffordshire border and one or two have even bothered to visit the area! In the talk on Friday I’d like to look at landscape in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, local place names and the possible link between a local Abbey and the poet. I’ll begin by refreshing people’s knowledge of one of the very first Romances to take place in a recognisable landscape.
Picture credit Mike Hill