Walter Scott, The Talisman, the Crusades, Richard I of England and Saladin: Myths, Legends and History
by Ibn Warraq
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5. Al-Qadi al-Fadil, [1131-1199] who was Saladin’s most trusted adviser and secretary of state. His despatches and letters are preserved in full or in excerpts in the works of Imad ad-Din, Abu Shama (see below), and other collections of documents. Gibb seems to have trusted al-Fadil completely: “The intimacy of the relation between them can be felt in the loyal and affectionate letters addressed by al-Qadi al-Fadil to Saladin, especially during the Third Crusade, sustaining him in times of adversity and even admonishing him on occasions. While, therefore, the historian will treat with all necessary caution, the more elaborate public despatches addressed by al-Qadi al-Fadil on Saladin’s behalf to the caliphs and other potentates, yet the consistency with which certain themes and ideas are expressed in them must be taken to reflect some at least of Saladin’s real purposes and ideals”. 
Abu Shama [1203-1267] was a philologist and anthologist, whose “The Book of the Two Gardens [Kitab ar-Raudatain] concerning the the two dynasties of Saladin and Nur ad-Din, brings together valuable material, for most of which we also have his original sources. He quotes (giving his references) from Ibn Qalanisi, Imad ad-Din, Baha ad-Din, Ibn Al-Athir and others. More important are his quotations from the lost Shi”˜ite historian of Aleppo, Ibn Abi Taiy, among other things the author of a biography of Saladin. The Two Gardens also reproduces numerous documents from the Sultan’s chancellery, most of them from the chief secretary [Qadi al-Fadil], individual collections of whose letters also exist.” 
C. HISTORIANS OF SALADIN.
C.1 STANLEY LANE-POOLE [1854-1931] worked in the Coin Department of the British Museum for eighteen years, and compiled a fourteen volume catalogue on Oriental coins. He was also employed by the Egyptian government on archaeological research in Cairo. His uncle Edward William Lane [1801-1876] was already famous by 1860s for his An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (1860). Lane-Poole helped complete Lane’s monumental Arabic-English Lexicon, which had got as far as the letter qÄf (the twenty-first letter) when Lane died. Lane-Poole himself was to write several books on Egypt and Cairo, such as Studies in a Mosque (1883) and History of Egypt in the Middle Ages (1901). Between 1898 and 1904, Lane-Poole was professor of Arabic at Trinity College, Dublin. He published Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1898  in the Heroes of the Nations Series.
Lane-Poole’s last chapter in his Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem is an important survey of “Saladin in Romance” or Saladin in European literature from the Middle Ages onwards. I shall return to Lane-Poole’s account of the Medieval romances later in this essay, but here I should like to look at his assessment of Walter Scott’s The Talisman, a work he clearly admired, despite its historical inaccuracies, which Lane-Poole spells out in detail:
 H.A.R.Gibb. The Life of Saladin. Foreword by Robert Irwin. London: Saqi Books, 2006, [Ist Edn. Oxford University Press, 1973], pp.161-62.
 Francesco Gabrieli. Arab Historians of the Crusades, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1984 [Ist Italian Edn. 1957; Ist English Edn. 1969] pp. xxx-xxxi.
 Stanley Lane-Poole. Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. London: G.P. Putnam, 1898.
To be continued.