Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 163.6 x 242.8 x 27.7mm | 612.36g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 1853675032
  • 9781853675034

Review Text

First published in 1898, Stanley Lane-Poole's account of the Crusades was the first to use both Western and Islamic sources, and became justly celebrated. This new edition has been updated by Dr David Nicolle, a military historian specializing in the Crusades, who provides an interesting new introduction and preface to the work, which is still well worth reading. There are of course many engaging Victorian turns of phrase, such as 'Oriental personages', but the narrative is easy to read and still thoroughly enjoyable. Lane-Poole's text is extremely sympathetic to Saladin and the Islamic world - an important reminder that not all late Victorians were slavishly pro-West. We are reminded that mediaeval Arab society was in many ways more sophisticated than its Christian counterpart, as was Middle Eastern military strategy. Saladin was not only a great general - he won control of what is now Syria and Iraq for the Egyptian caliphate as well as famously capturing Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187 - but also a generous adversary. He was admired even by the Crusaders for his chivalry, which was in marked contrast to their brutal treatment of Muslim prisoners; after taking Jerusalem Saladin forbade rape and pillage and allowed Christian inhabitants to leave the city unmolested, promising that the Holy Sepulchre could remain a place of Christian pilgrimage. Lane-Poole's account is meticulous and well documented, with numerous illustrations and maps. Anyone interested in the Crusades or in Victorian perceptions of them will find much to engage them. (Kirkus UK)show more