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Encyclopedia > The Talisman (1825)

The Talisman is a novel by Sir Walter Scott. It was published in 1825 as the second of his Tales of the Crusaders, (the first being The Betrothed). Scott's historical novels were enormously popular in the 19th century. A novel is an extended work of written, narrative, prose fiction, usually in story form; the writer of a novel is a novelist. ... Sir Walter Scott (August 14, 1771 - September 21, 1832) was a prolific Scottish historical novelist and poet popular throughout Europe. ... 1825 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... This article is about the medieval Crusades . ... An historical novel is a novel in which the story is set among historical events, or more generally, where the time the action takes place in predates the lifetime of the author -- distinguish and contrast the alternate history genre. ...

The Talisman takes place at the end of the Third Crusade, mostly in the camp of the Crusaders in Palestine. Scheming and partisan politics, as well as the illness of King Richard the Lionheart, are placing the Crusade in danger. The main characters are the knight Kenneth, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, and Edith Plantagenet, a relative of Richard. The Third Crusade (1189 - 1192) was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin. ... Palestine (Latin: Syria Palæstina; Hebrew: פלשתינה Palestina, ארץ־ישראל Eretz Yisrael; Arabic: فلسطين Filasṭīn) is the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the banks of the Jordan River, plus various adjoining lands to the east. ... Richard I of England, as a bronze, brandishes his sword outside the Palace of Westminster Richard I (September 8, 1157 - April 6, 1199) was King of England from 1189 to 1199. ... A silver statue of an armoured knight, created as a trophy in 1850 For the chess piece, see knight (chess). ... Richard I of England, as a bronze, brandishes his sword outside the Palace of Westminster Richard I (September 8, 1157 - April 6, 1199) was King of England from 1189 to 1199. ... This article is about the Muslim general, for the British armoured vehicle named after him, see Alvis Saladin. ...

Kenneth is sent on a mission to discuss a potential peace treaty with the Saracens. He meets, fights and befriends a lone Saracen emir, who eventually turns out to be Saladin in disguise. The term Saracen comes from Greek sarakenoi. ...

The piece features many schemes from within the alliance against Richard the Lionheart's plans to complete the Crusade. These involve highly fictionalised historical figures such as the Master of the Knights Templar and Conrade of Montserrat (Scott's mispelling of Conrad of Montferrat). After several betrayals and a nearly fatal mistake by Kenneth, his redemption, justice for the schemers and the peace treaty follow. Kenneth himself is revealed to be a Scottish prince. The Seal of the Knights — the two riders have been interpreted as a sign of poverty or the duality of monk/soldier. ... Conrad of Montferrat (c. ...

An interesting feature is the character of Saladin - portrayed as virtuous and moral, in contrast to some of the despicable European nobles in the story. This is a feature of Romanticism, but perhaps also a reflection of a rising interest in the West with the Orient. Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement in the history of ideas that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. ...

External links

  • Online text of "The Talisman" (http://www2.arts.gla.ac.uk/SESLL/STELLA/STARN/prose/WSCOTT/TALISMAN/contents.htm)
  • Free eBook of The Talisman (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/1377) at Project Gutenberg



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