Note to King Lear, 3.4.182: "Child Rowland"


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King Lear,
Act 3, Scene 4, line 182

Child Rowland: Child is an aspirant to knighthood; Roland is the famous hero of the Charlemagne legends set during the 8th century.

Edgar lends credence to his disguise as Tom o' Bedlam with these rambling comments about Child Rowland.

I smell the blood of a British man: "An Englishman" usually appears in this rhyme from the cycle of tales of which "Jack and the Beanstalk" is the best known. "A British man" is more suitable to Lear's ancient Britain than "an Englishman."


The Bookhouse for Children Publishers, 1920
Source:
www.dowlingwalsh.com