Blondel's song: the capture, imprisonment and ransom of Richard the Lionheart

Front Cover
Viking, 2005 - Fiction - 369 pages
On his way back from the crusades, one of England's most famous and romantic medieval kings was ship-wrecked and stranded near Venice. Trying to make his way home in disguise, he was arrested and imprisoned and effectively disappeared. He didn't return home for another fifteen months, and at enormous cost - a quarter of the entire wealth of England was paid to win his release.The extraordinary events surrounding Richard the Lionheart's disappearance has been relegated to the nursery by generations of historians. But it also provides the background to some of the most colourful and enduring legends - Robin Hood, the Sheriff of Nottingham, the discovery of King Arthur's grave, and above all, the story of Blondel, Richard's faithful minstrel, and his journey across central Europe - singing under castle towers - until he finds the missing king.Blondel's Song tells the tale of one of the most peculiar incidents of medieval history, and the background to the real Blondel and his fellow troubadours, as well as the courts of love, the Holy Grail, emergence of gothic cathedrals like Notre Dame and Chartres, and the unique moment of tolerance in the West - when Europe shared a language, and a new culture of music, romance and chivalry.It retraces and rediscovers Richard's secret journey across the Alps in winter, and uncovers the real story of the arrest of Europe's most powerful king, two thousand miles from home, and the effects of his gigantic ransom. And it uncovers for the first time the real meaning of the legend of Blondel, the song that revealed Richard's lonely cell, and the truth about who Blondel was.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Chris_El - LibraryThing

How to start a letter like a boss: "Eleanor, by the wrath of God, Queen of England, Duchess of Normandy and Count of Anjou". This letter was written to the pope asking him to enforce his edict ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

The main title of this book is a bit misleading as the role of Blondel is fairly marginal and I am not sure I am convinced by the author's theory that the story is essentially true. But as an account ... Read full review


The Courts of Love I
The Age of Light
Paris and Jerusalem

12 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information