About the author: Margaret Jubb is a Lecturer in French at the University of Aberdeen. She received her PhD in French of the University of Cambridge. Her edition of the thirteenth-century Estoires d’Outremer, which has a particular focus on Saladin, appea2000 0-7734-7686-5
This is the first modern study of the image and legend of Saladin in Western sources from the 12th to the 20th century. It examines the gradual transformation in the portrayal of the Muslim enemy from demonized villain into adoptive hero. The extraordinary variety of stories which coalesced about his person, detailing inter alia his entirely fictional journeys to the West and his amorous adventures, frequently bear very little relation to historical reality, yet are shown to be of undeniable historical interest. Their significance lies in what they reveal about political, cultural and ideological climates in different countries and in different ages, for Western writers marked their appropriation of Saladin by constantly recreating him as hero in their own image to point a message for their own age glorifying values which they themselves espoused.