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The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Blondel

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BLONDEL, a French trouvère of the 12th century, born at Nesle, near Péronne, Picardy. He is generally regarded as the minstrel who was the friend, teacher, and companion of Richard Cœur de Lion in his expeditions. According to a tradition, when Richard on his return from the Holy Land was imprisoned by Leopold of Austria in the fortress of Dürrenstein, Blondel discovered the place of his captivity by singing under the castle window a part of one of his familiar songs, the other part being taken up from within by the king. Blondel then went to England and caused the monarch to be ransomed. This story is confirmed by the chronicles of Rheims of the 13th century, edited by Alexis Paulin Paris (1836); but it does not seem to be corroborated by other authorities. The national and arsenal libraries of Paris contain 29 MS. songs, part of which are ascribed to the trouvère, and others to the French poet Robert Blondel, who died about 1461. Les œuvres de Blondel de Néele, by Prosper Tarbé (Rheims, 1862), contain a full account of the historical and legendary data respecting Blondel and an edition of his and Richard's songs.