From Academic Kids

Jaufré Rudel, Lord of Blaye, was a troubador, probably living in the mid-12th century. He is noted for developing the theme of "love from afar" (amor de lonh) in his songs.

Very little is known about his life, but a reference to him in a contemporary poem describes him as being oltra mar - across the sea, i.e. on the Second Crusade in 1147. According to his legendary Vida, or fictionalised biography, he was inspired to go on hearing from returning pilgrims of the beauty of Countess Hodierna of Tripoli, and that she was the muse of his amor de lonh. The legend claims that he fell sick on the journey and was brought ashore in Tripoli a dying man. Countess Hodierna is said to have come down from her castle on hearing the news, and Rudel died in her arms. This romantic but unlikely story seems to have been derived from the enigmatic nature of Rudel's verse and his presumed death on the Crusade.

Seven of Rudel's poems have survived to the present day, four of them with music. His composition "Lanquan li jorn" is thought to be the model for the Minnesinger Walther von der Vogelweide's song "Allerest lebe ich mir werde".

The French dramatist Edmond Rostand took the legend of Rudel and Hodierna as the basis for his 1895 verse drama La Princesse lointaine, but reassigned the female lead from Hodierna to her jilted daughter Melisende - played by Sarah Bernhardt.

The Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho has written an opera about Rudel called L'amour de loin.

See also

fr:Jaufré Rudel

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