This is a great tale, based on fact but undoubtedly embellished. It's not like a modern writer would produce, but is designed to be sung or recounted by bards and hence there's alot of repetition particularly during the battle scenes but I think this adds to its charm. The explanatory notes help to bring the characters to life and show a great insight into human nature.
This translation of the Old French tale is highly entertaining, with flashes of poetic invention that enliven the medieval folderol of swords, steeds and deeds. The story concerns the betrayal of the brave but foolhardy Roland, his knightly companions and his army by the treacherous Ganelon. Sayers cleaves closely to the meter of the original Old French, which requires clever feats of circumlocution and diction. The translation has a charmingly archaic quality, in keeping with the ancient nature of the tale.
Contains the definitive Oxford text and a fairly literal translation. This is the most accessible edition of the text available since Whitehead's went out of print, and the translation is a useful bonus especially for those with little experience of Old French. See also my review of Volume 1