The modern view of the crusades is largely formed in the era of the Enlightenment. The thinkers of that period considered medieval Christianity to be a harmful prejudice, and the crusades were piled up by the massive fanatical and mercenary barbarians to a more developed Muslim world. Walter Scott, being a supporter of the ideas of the Enlightenment, largely reflected these views in the book.
“Talisman” takes us to the Third Crusade. The starting point of the novel largely corresponds to the historical events of that period: a truce is concluded between the Crusaders and Saladin, Richard the Lionheart suffers from a fever, the other leaders of the campaign are bustling about, not believing in the success of the enterprise. Most of the heroes of the book are real historical figures, but the further development of the plot has very little to do with reality.
Walter Scott was one of the first European writers to portray Muslims in a positive light. First of all, it concerns the images of Saladin and Richard. The King of England is shown to us by an unrestrained, cruel, power-hungry ruler. In contrast to him, Saladin is the source of wisdom and prudence. It is thanks to the sultan’s foresight that true villains will get what they deserve. The Templars in the novel are depicted in the usual key for Walter Scott – arrogant, mercenary proud. The concept of honor and conscience for them at all.
Created by Walter Scott, the atmosphere plunges into the world of the Middle Ages. Only a pity, the ending is predictable. But nevertheless, several remarkable evenings in the spirit of the Crusades were not in vain.