Since his youth, living in poverty in a cave in Italy, Roland's mother has taught him that someday he will be a brave hero like his father, Milon, and serve with the great army of Charlemagne. He learns from her that he is descended from great heroes of old and that his mother is Charlemagne's sister, the Princess Bertha. When Charlemagne comes to Italy, Roland confronts the king, who rejoices to find his long-lost sister and gives both her and her son a place of honor in his court. As Roland becomes a man and a knight, he embarks on a quest to the Far East and becomes champion to the Princess of Cathay. One of the great medieval "songs of great deeds", this is a composite of several hero legends interlaced with Christian moral sentiments. A remarkable panorama of medieval life and thought, The Song of Roland truly reflects the spirit of its time. (Translation by D. D. R. Owen.)More
"No member of this cast is a household name, but all of them demonstrate high-quality dramatic skills in the presentation of the 12th-century epic French poem considered by many to be the first great piece of French literature." (AudioFile)
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The Song of Roland
As a French professor, I am very familiar with this epic poem in the original old French and the modern French translation. With its additional dramatic effects, this was an excellent way to introduce my son to the story.
- D. B. Mann