The second of 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 iden...more
"The Talisman" wins my respect for its sympathetic portrayal of a Muslim--rare for 1825--and it wins my affection not only for its memorable characterizations of Lionheart and Saladin, but also for its vivid descriptions of Crusader and Saracen dress and pageantry. The style is verbose, the dialogue is infuriating in its deliberate stiltedness (as if anyone ever talked in this pseudo-Medieval fashion!), and its plot--a far cry from the carefully structured "Ivanhoe"--is thin and melodramatic (wi...more
The Talisman is a tale of the Crusades, set in 1190 and beginning when there was a truce between the Saracens and King Richard the Lionheart. As with many another historical novel, Scott takes liberties with the historical record, and probably w...more
There are so many intriguing facets to the novel. The por...more
The romance between the Scottish knight Sir Kenneth and Lady Edith Plantagenet is totally fictional, as is Richard's cure from a Saracen physician by means of the Talisman (an amulet). Some of the characters turn out to be somebody else later on.
Richard did have a lot of...more
I chose The Talisman because, long ago, when the dinosaurs ruled the earth, I read and loved Ivanhoe. The Talisman is set in roughly the same time frame and is in the period of history that I just love to read about. Our hero is a Scots knight on crusade with Richard the Lionheart. How could this be better? Well---several ways. Ivanhoe was acutely plotted. Every tu...more
The story starts...more
The tale is set during the 3rd Crusade, with the towering historical figures of Saladin and Richard the Lion Heart figuring prominently. The hero though is...more
The story follows the fortunes of Sir Kenneth, a Scottish knight who is in the Holy Land - occupied by an army of Christian allies (France, England and Austria) - to restore his family fortunes. At the opening of the novel he has a chance encounter with...more
The characters are drawn with extraordinary psychological profiles and physical descriptions, but their actions and emotions--in short, the story--revolves so heavily around crusade-era statecraft that I start to think I'm not old enough to enjoy it. I don't mind dispassionate political history, and I can tolerate a degree of prosaic detail, but in a novel, I want to see more...more
Many of the key characters in the book adopt a number of disguises; sometimes you know who they are, other times not so much. Nice mix of historical and fictional characters.
The writing is sometimes overwrought, but again probably typical for mid-19th century.
Read partly on Kindle.
Sir Walter Scott was born on August 15, 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scott created and popularized historical novels in a series called the Waverley Novels. In his novels Scott arranged the plots and characters so the reader enters into the lives of both great and ordinary...more