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Join Sir Gawain on his journey to seek the green chapel and battle the green knight who dwells there. Accepting the challenge of a Christmas game on behalf of his uncle, King Arthur, the young knight, Sir Gawain, leaves his home of Camelot and travels afar, finding board at a stately castle. Received by a hospitable Host, Sir Gawain finds refuge along with many tests and challenges along the way. His final challenge awaits at the green chapel, where he is to receive a deathly blow of the ax from the green knight. The greatest challenge of all is young Sir Gawain staying honest to himself.
Jane England received an F in the children's literature course. The only failing grade of her entire academic career was on a mid-term paper she wrote about the anonymous fourteenth-century poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." Her professor at the time disagreed that the well-studied piece of British literature was also a work of children's literature.
Many great works of children's literature demonstrate Joseph Campbell's thesis of the mythical journey of the hero depicting the psychological and spiritual maturation necessary for human existence. "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" satisfies all the elements of Joseph Campbell's thesis of the hero's journey: the call to adventure, supernatural aid, crossing the threshold from the known to the unknown, beginning of transformation, aid from a helper, challenges and temptations, the revelation and the abyss, rebirth and transformation, atonement, and return to the known.
Albeit, the anonymous fourteenth-century poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" as written did not lend itself easily to be read by children. Ultimately the mutually agreed upon decision was to rewrite a portion of the fourteenth-century work into the text of children's literature following the structure of the hero's journey and proving that the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight can be children's literature. Challenge accepted.
On and off for many years beyond college, Jane continued rewriting the entire poem into a simplified form to appeal to children.