The exact date of creation and authorship of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight remains a mystery, but it is generally believed to have been written in the late 1400s. Although there are some controversies surrounding the origin of the book, it is known that the original copy was discovered in Yorkshire in the mid-seventeenth century by a local resident named Henry Saville of the Bank. Later, Sir Robert Cotton acquired the poem, who already owned other famous manuscripts such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and the original copy of Beowulf.
Despite being undiscovered for more than 200 years, the poem gained prominence during Queen Victoria’s reign when it attracted the attention of distinguished scholars and experts of that time. The original copy of the book is small and unassuming, easily fitting into a medium-sized hand.
Today, the manuscript is known as Cotton Nero A.X and is considered one of the most magnificent writings of Middle English verse and one of the jewels in the crown of English poetry. Despite its age, the manuscript is still in good condition, thanks to the proper care and preservation it has received. It is currently housed in the British Library, where it is kept safe from the damaging effects of moisture and other harmful conditions.
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