Song of Roland

ISBN-10: 0140440755
ISBN-13: 9780140440751
Edition: N/A
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Description: On 15 August 778, Charlemagne’s army was returning from a successful expedition against Saracen Spain when its rearguard was ambushed in a remote Pyrenean pass. Out of this skirmish arose a stirring tale of war, which was recorded in the oldest  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.00
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/30/1957
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.594

On 15 August 778, Charlemagne’s army was returning from a successful expedition against Saracen Spain when its rearguard was ambushed in a remote Pyrenean pass. Out of this skirmish arose a stirring tale of war, which was recorded in the oldest extant epic poem in French. The Song of Roland, written by an unknown poet, tells of Charlemagne’s warrior nephew, Lord of the Breton Marches, who valiantly leads his men into battle against the Saracens, but dies in the massacre, defiant to the end. In majestic verses, the battle becomes a symbolic struggle between Christianity and paganism, while Roland’s last stand is the ultimate expression of honour and feudal values of twelfth-century France.

Dorothy Sayers's impressive reputation as a contemporary master of the classic detective story is eclipsed only by Agatha Christie's. Sayers was born in Oxford and attended Somerville College, where she received a B.A. in 1915 and an M.A. in 1920. During that period, Sayers worked as an instructor of modern languages at Hull High School for Girls in Yorkshire and as a reader for a publisher in Oxford. Her early literary work was in poetry; she published several volumes and served as an editor for the journal Oxford Poetry from 1917 to 1919. Sayers also worked as a copywriter for a major advertising firm in London. She was president of the Modern Language Association from 1939 to 1945 and of the Detection Club in the 1950s. Around 1920 Sayers developed the idea for her detective hero Lord Peter Wimsey, and she soon published her first mystery, Whose Body? (1923), in which Lord Peter is introduced. For the next dozen or so years, Sayers wrote prolifically about Wimsey, creating in the process what many critics of the genre consider to be the finest detective novels in the English language. Perhaps her most famous Wimsey mystery was The Nine Tailors (1934). Although Sayers essentially followed the classic form in her detective fiction---a formula in which the plot assumes a greater importance than do the characters---Sayers maintained that a detective hero's greatness depended on how effectively the character was portrayed. All but one of Sayers's mysteries feature Lord Peter Wimsey. By the late 1930s, Sayers had apparently tired of writing detective fiction. She stated in 1947 that she would write no more mysteries, that she wrote detective fiction only when she was young and in need of money. Thus saying, Sayers turned her attention to her early loves, medieval and religious literature, spending her remaining years lecturing on and translating Dante (see Vol. 2).

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