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A Story From: England
Read Time: ["10 to 15mins"]
For Ages: 8 to 10yrs., 12 to 14yrs.

Sir Gawain must answer what it is that women really want, most of all.
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"The Weddynge of Sir Gawen and Dame Ragnell," a poem from a 16th century manuscript that is currently located in Oxford, England (Bodleian Library MS 11957).

Retold by Elaine L. Lindy. ©2005. All rights reserved.


This anonymous ballad of Sir Gawain and the Loathsome Lady was one of the most popular stories of late medieval England.

Sir Gawain remains one of the great heroes in Arthurian legends. No other Knight of the Round Table appears in more tales, yet Gawain is not often the chief hero in most of these medieval romances (another exception is "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"). Gawain is often portrayed as the ideal knight, a noble and honest warrior who is fiercely loyal to his uncle, King Arthur.

In one story, an explanation is provided for how the feud between King Arthur and Sir Gromer came about. In the tale, King Arthur gave a piece of the forest of Ingleswood to his nephew, Sir Gawain.

"The Wedding of Sir Gawain and the Dame Ragnelle" is often compared to Geoffrey's Chaucer's "The Wife of Bath's Tale" from The Canterbury Tales.