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Old 01-31-2020, 02:56 PM   #1
Gunner54
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Baldwin, James: The Story of Roland. v1. January 2020

The Story of Roland is my favourite James Baldwin (1841-1925) book. And the illustrations by Reginald Birch (1856-1943) are outstanding for their era

The text of the e-book is drawn from two editions, the 1883 American and the 1909 British. The latter is significantly different to the former. For instance, it is entitled The Story of Roland And The Peers Of Charlemagne; and it omits the ‘Adventures’ of the Knight of the Swan and Medoro the Moor. There are numerous other cuts to the text and a number of changes; the ‘French’ become the ‘Franks,’ and Morgan the Fay reverts to the traditional Morgan Le Fay, etc . Many of the re-writes, in my opinion, are improvements on the original text by the author.

The illustrations in the American edition are all by the artist, E. B Birch, the British edition omits several of these and adds two (of different scenes) by Will G. Mein (1868-1939). All these illustrations are included in the present edition, and have been ‘digitally dusted’. The cover was recreated from a first edition original.

In its review of the British edition, the Spectator, wrote; ‘Mr. Baldwin has been at great pains to collect from many sources details of the Roland legend. He takes us, for instance, to the Court of Prester John, and tells the strangely fanciful story of How Roland Became his own Shadow. Some of these curiosities we could have spared to have the great final scene of Roncesvalles given in more detail.’

In answer to the Spector’s criticism, The Battle Of Roncevalles by Mrs. Lang (1851-1933), with illustrations by Henry Justice Ford (1860-1941, has been added to this e-book edition as an appendix. Also added is an excerpt from John Malcolm Ludlow's (1821–1911) Popular Epics of the Middle Ages, one of Baldwin’s principle sources.

The spelling has been standardised to UK English, and formatted for ease of use for an e-book readership. I have retained Baldwin’s footnotes and added a few of my own.
The text and illustrations were sourced from archive.org.
Gunner54
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