Swift yet resonant, this masterful new verse translation conveys the immediacy, intimacy, and power of this greatest of Old French epic poems. John DuVal approaches the unadorned syntax of The Song of Roland in straightforward modern English, attuned to the nuance and detail of the narrative and the poetry of the original text.
In his concise but thorough general Introduction, David Staines traces the origins of the poem and its reception in medieval society, discusses its content and its themes, and in clear, accessible prose illuminates the epic poem’s chivalric spirit.
Footnotes provide glosses on events, characters, and medieval terms. Endnotes discuss editorial and translational issues. This edition also includes a selected bibliography, a map, and a glossary and index. An appendix provides the entire text of the Old French original.