Blondel's Song: The capture, Imprisonment and Ransom of Richard the Lionheart

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, May 4, 2006 - History - 400 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 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.

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

Other editions - View all

About the author (2006)

David Boyle is the author of a series of books, including Funny Money, The Tyranny of Numbers and Authenticity. He is an associate at the London-based think-tank, the New Economics Foundation, and a contributor to a range of newspapers and magazines including the New Statesman and BBC History.

Bibliographic information