Symbolically, the quintessential English feudal monarch is King Arthur, but stories of Charlemagne and his Knights' quests throughout Christian Europe had a much wider impact. Amidst the chaos and violence of Europe in the eighth century, Charlemagne became king of the Franks and slowly established an empire the likes of which had not been seen since the days of the Romans. As Charlemange's power grew, so did the stories attached to his name.
This book explores the myths and legends of the great king Charlemagne, from the stories about his mother, Bertha Bigfoot, and his youthful adventures with the thief, Basin, to his fantastical journeys to Jerusalem and Constantinople. It also retells the stories of his most famous knights, the Paladins. These brave warriors were all heroes in their own right, and included many famous names such as Roland, Ogier the Dane, Oliver, Archbishop Turpin, and Renault of Montalban who rode the famous steed, Bayard. Together with his Paladins, Charlemagne established a court to rival Camelot and led the Christian kingdoms of Europe in their ongoing struggles with the armies of the East. Although this great ruler eventually passed away, quietly in his bed, the legends say that he now sits on his golden throne beneath the mountain, waiting until the need of his people calls him forth again.
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