Text and Translation
  • Publication Date: February 28, 2020
  • ISBN: 9781554814589 / 1554814588
  • 250 pages; 6" x 9"

Note on pricing.

Ebook will also be available for purchase upon publication.

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Availability: Worldwide


Text and Translation

  • Publication Date: February 28, 2020
  • ISBN: 9781554814589 / 1554814588
  • 250 pages; 6" x 9"

The fourteenth-century Middle English poem Pearl is one of the best dream vision poems ever written, yet its language (the North-west Midlands dialect of late-medieval England) and literary allusions (to biblical, mythological, and medieval works) make it difficult for modern readers to understand.

This new dual-language edition of Pearl provides the original Middle English with a facing-page modern English translation. It includes a comprehensive introduction, annotations of key words and ideas, reproduction of the four manuscript illustrations, a literary sourcebook, and lists of biblical sources, significant liturgical dates, and the concatenation words. Literary and biblical sources for the poem are provided as appendices.

List of Abbreviations
A Note on the Text


Appendix A: Literary Sourcebook – Key Passages

  1. Parables
    1. Parable of the Pearl of Great Price
    2. Parable of the Treasure in the Field
    3. Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
  2. Descriptions of Pearls
    1. From Pliny, Natural History
    2. From Albert the Great, De animalibus
    3. From Marbod of Rennes, De lapidibus
    4. From Bartholomæus Anglicus, De proprietatibus rerum
    5. From The Peterborough Lapidary
    6. From Medieval Latin and French Bestiaries
  3. Life of Saint Margaret of Antioch (from the Legenda Aurea)
  4. The Spring of Narcissus (from The Romance of the Rose)
  5. The Story of Orpheus and Eurydice (from King Alfred’s Version of Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy, trans. Walter John Sedgefield)
  6. Dante Meets Matilda and Beatrice in the Earthly Paradise (from Dante’s Purgatorio XXIX-XXXIII, trans. A. S. Kline)
  7. Pygmalion and Galatea (from Ovid’s Metamorphoses)
  8. The Phoenix of Arabia (from Ovid’s Metamorphoses)
  9. Origen on the Song of Songs
  10. The New Jerusalem (Revelation 21)

Appendix B: List of Biblical Source Passages

Appendix C: List of Significant Liturgical Dates

Appendix D: Chart of Concatenation Words

Select Bibliography

Jane Beal is Associate Professor of English at the University of La Verne.