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Why 'Childe Rolande'?

The name comes from the Robert Browning poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" which Pat came across while studying English Literature at school.

Browning's poem, written in 1852, is inspired by Edgar's speech in Shakespeare's King Lear (III.iv.182-184): "Childe Rowland to the dark tower came, / His word was still, 'Fie, foe and fum, / I smell the blood of a British man.'

Browning agreed with a churchman that the thirty-four verse poem's meaning could be summed up in the phrase, "He that endureth to the end shall be saved."

"Childe" is the title of a young warrior awaiting knighthood. Roland is a hero of the medieval French Chanson de Roland and of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (1532).

The story of Childe Roland has appeared in various guises. For instance, the English folk tale inspired Alan Garner's children's story Elidor, and the Childe Roland of Browning's poem is still on a quest in Stephen King's series of stories, The Dark Tower.


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