The Talisman is a novel by Sir Walter Scott which was published in 1825. The Talisman takes place near the conclusion of the Third Crusade, with most of the setting and action taking place with the Crusaders in Palestine, as they place themselves in danger due to scheming and partisan politics, compounded by the illness of King Richard the Lionheart. As with most of Scott’s historical novels, many of the characters are fictionalizations of real people in history. In The Talisman, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin and and Edith Plantagenet (a relative of Richard) are real historical figures and the Scottish knight Kenneth is the fictional character of David Earl of Huntingdon.
Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was a Scottish historical novelist whose writing was extremely popular throughout the world during his lifetime, and largely remains so to this day. Many of his works remain significant in the Western Canon, including Rob Roy, Waverley, Ivanhoe and Kenilworth, in addition to The Talisman. In the early and mid parts of the 20th century Scott’s reputation suffered, though, like much of the over-reaction Modernism foisted upon us, the pendulum is swinging back in his favor. His influence is unquestionable; it can be legitimately claimed that Scott invented the modern historical novel.
The LEC edition of The Talisman is illustrated by Federico Castellón. Castellón (1914–1971) was an Spanish-American painter, sculptor, printmaker and illustrator of children’s books. Self-taught, he is most famous for his his lithographs and etchings. I find his illustrations of The Talisman more or less perfect, classically drawn, setting appropriate mood, with fantastic detail, well representing the story. Quite an accomplishment considering the state of the artistic world in the late 1960’s.
About the LEC Edition
- Typographic plan by John Lewis
- Printing done by W.S. Cowell Limited in Ipswich, Suffolk, England
- Aquatints etched in copper by Frederico Castellon in New York, and he signs this edition
- Prints pulled by M. Beaune in Creteil
- Introduction by Thomas C. Chubb
- Bound in quarter black sheepskin, gold stamped
- 400 pages
- Limited to 1500 copies
Pictures of the LEC Edition
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