So Richard Cœur-de-Lion owed his name to bravery in battle? Hmmm, because Robert Chambers‘ 1869 Book of Days, pillaging a medieval romance, tells a different tale. As we join proceedings, Richard is languishing in the nick (again! but it’s German this time) for having beaten up a pub musician, killed the son of the king of Germany in a fistfight, and shagged said king’s lovely daughter something rotten. Der Kaiser is not ze happy bunny in ze pointy hat:
I’ wis, as I uncyrstande can,
This is a devyl, and no man,
That has my stronge lyoun slawe,
The harte out of hys body drawe,
And has it eeten with good wylle!
He may be callyd, be ryght skylle,
King icrystenyd off most renoun,
Stronge Rychard Coer-de-Lyoun.’
Modard now voluntarily allows Richard to be ransomed, and the latter returns to England, where he immediately prepares for the crusade, which occupies the greater part of the romance, in the course of which Richard not only kills innumerable Saracens with his own hand, but he cooks, eats, and relishes them.
Chambers also quotes Shakespeare’s Faulconbridge in King John, who describes Richard as one
The aweless lion could not wage the fight,
Nor keep his princely heart from Richard’s hand.
- Blood and fire
Translation of the farewell poem recovered from the murderer of Theo van Gogh.
- Peter the Great’s April Fool’s jokes
Of dwarves, arson, stammerers, and binge drinking.
- The demon barber of Calais, a 17th century Sweeney Todd
I believe the current early chronology of versions containing all the basic motifs is as follows: Joseph Fouché was a politician and
- The invisible ethnicity of Inspector Richard Tanner of the Met
The British-Jewish detective who hung the German murderer of a London banker. With photos of his tombstone in Winchester’s West Hill
- The worst translator in the world? “Quoth she, so much I hate this nation, / I’ll damn this author in translation”
The London Magazine, 1734: Verses occasioned by Mr. Budgel’s modest Proposal, in the Daily Post-Boy of Aug. 31. to give the