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What really happened in 778 at the Pass of Roncevaux in the Pyrenees bears little resemblance to 11th century epic “The Song of Roland” (for more see yesterday’s post at Unusual Historicals).

My forthcoming novel, The Cross and the Dragon, explores a German legend in which Hruodland (Roland) survives the massacre at Roncevaux but his wife is told he died. In my story, he is comatose after the attack and left at a hospital for a Christian burial. What if after months of fighting his way back to health, he were traveling back home under an assumed name and heard a singer perform an earlier version of the poem?

Read today’s post at Unusual Historicals for an excerpt, a novelist’s speculation on how he might have reacted.

Illustration to 'The Song of Roland'

Illustration to ‘The Song of Roland,’ 1903, Heorhiy Narbut