The second volume in the Tales of the Crusaders, The Talisman is set in Palestine during the Third Crusade (1189–92). Scott constructs a story of chivalric action, apparently adopting a medieval romance view of the similarities in the values of both sides. But disguise is the leading theme of the tale: it is not just that characters frequently wear clothing that conceals their identity, but that professions and cultures hide their true nature. In this novel the Christian leaders are divided by a factious criminality, and are contrasted to the magnanimity and decisiveness of Saladin, the leader of the Moslem armies. In a period when the west was fascinated with the exotic east, Scott represents the Moslem other as more humane than the Christian west.
About the Author
J. H. Alexander is Reader Emeritus in English at the University of Aberdeen.
Peter Garside is Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He is Executive/General Editor of the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels (EEWN), and was Advisory/Associate General Editor the Stirling/South Carolina Edition of the Collected Works of James Hogg 1991-2010.
David Hewitt was Regius Chalmers Professor of English Literature at the University of Aberdeen and is Editor-in-chief of the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels.
...essential reading for any serious scholar of Scott. They are also sure to delight the interested general reader.